Words: Thomas Stichbury
Dr Ranj Singh says the prognosis for his personal life couldn’t be better after securing the acceptance of his family.
The Attitude TV Award winner has revealed that his parents fully came to terms with his sexuality during his stint on Strictly Come Dancing last year.
Ranj, who grew up in a traditional, relatively religious Indian household, was initially 'outed' to them following the breakdown of his marriage to a woman over a decade ago – but they hadn’t spoken about the subject since.
“I wasn’t ready to talk. I never felt as if it was the right time, and over the 10 years that it took me to deal with it and get to where I am now, I feel my parents had a bit of that as well,” he explains in the Attitude Awards issue, available to download and to order globally now.
The cha-cha-chance to have that long-overdue conversation arrived when Ranj, 40, whirled his way into the nation’s heart during the BBC One ballroom competition.
“It was only when something came out in the newspapers, somebody brought it to their attention that we had a chat,” he recalls.
This Morning’s resident 'couch doc' admits that he feared the worst possible outcome.
“I naively assumed that they were going to have a knee-jerk reaction, which a lot of ethnic parents do – I’ve known people who have been kicked out of their homes because of that," he says.
"I thought I was going to be ostracised, that they were going to freak out, cut me out and cut me off.
“But it was the total opposite,” he adds. “My sense of pride for my parents is huge anyway, but it grew immensely at that point and I remember thinking, ‘You are so much more than I thought you were.’”
Read Dr Ranj's full interview in the Attitude Awards issue, out now.