'I wanted to be a girl': Rupert Everett on coming to terms with his sexuality and gender

The actor also opened up about living through the Aids crisis


Words: Steve Brown

Rupert Everett recalls coming to terms with his sexuality and gender identity.

The St Trinian’s actor grew up in a ‘regimented militaristic background’ and found as he was growing up that he hated joining other men in his family who would go sailing every weekend and played golf.

Instead, Everett preferred to spend time with his mother, grandma and his auntie and while speaking on Desert Island Discs, the actor said he wanted to be a girl growing up.

He said: “I adored my mother, my aunt and my grandmother and I wanted to be a girl.

“I didn’t like men. I didn’t trust them. All the men in my family went sailing every weekend and they played golf: two things that I found unutterably grim.

“I loved necklaces and bras and all those kinds of things – nestling up to my mum, my grandmum and my aunt.

“I didn’t ever learn when I was a child how to engage with other males, until I was 15 and I left my public school, and then I didn’t want to be a girl any more.

“I really enjoyed being a homosexual.”

The Happy Prince actor and director also opened up about living through the Aids crisis in the 1980s and said it was ‘terrifying’.

He continued: “I am not saying that, of course, the drama for me was anything like the drama for someone who did contract it, but for everyone involved it was a terrifying time.

“I was losing friends and... I think I did go a bit crazy... I became militant in my own world, I suppose. I was on a short fuse.

“I kept thinking in the first few films I made, ‘My God, what happens if I suddenly find myself with this illness right in front of the camera?’

“I was a very jaggedly strange freak.”