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I’m Still Standing

It was just a normal evening in Edinburgh when 44-yearold criminologist Izzuddin spoke openly about his life, family and sexuality to a guy in a bar. But in doing so, he was making the biggest mistake he’d ever make. His story has been told on the nationwide tour of Clare Summerskill’s play Rights of Passage. But now, he tells GT how that one day in Edinburgh almost ruined his life forever...

I knew the rest of society was different to me. I was seven years old and I felt strange. I thought there was something wrong with me.

BELOW EDINBURGH

Growing up in Malaysia, even from an early age, I knew that I fancied men. Y’know when you watch television and movies as a child? Well, there was nothing that matched how I felt. There was never a role model that I could find and, for a while, I thought I was the only man that fancied men in Malaysia.

I didn’t know the word ‘gay’. I began to label myself as a freak or pervert. I thought I was a transvestite as I could see some similarities. The act of a man dressing up as a woman, being a transvestite, in Malaysia isn’t actually seen as a bad thing – if anything it’s celebrated. You’re invited to a wedding to help with the makeup. However, I didn’t feel like I fitted into that box, either.

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About Gay Times

In his FIRST-EVER cover shoot, chart-topping star Neil Amin-Smith talks to GT about sexuality, racism and the Labour Party in our September style issue. Speaking of style.... We've got 57 pages of the must-have looks, grooming products and gadgets to see you right for AW16. Also in your brand new GT – Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis explores the world of sex workers, Kerry Ellis defies gravity with our sweetie jar of random questions and award-winning actor Jeffrey Tambor reveals how playing a trans woman made him a better father and husband. Plus, theologian Vicky Beeching tells her remarkable story of coming out and being an Evangelical Christian.
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