George Michael's decision to reveal his homosexuality and his "bare-faced defiance" against those who sought to condemn him won him respect, says LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
Michael, who died on Christmas Day aged 53, was one of the world's most high-profile gay musicians and enjoyed a distinguished career lasting over 30 years.
The star came out in 1998, at the age of 34, after being caught performing a lewd act in a public toilet. His response to the controversy was to release a raunchy music video which was apparently set in a giant toilet, featuring urinals and female police officers.
Speaking to Paul Ross on talkRADIO, Tatchell said Michael was helped by changing attitudes towards homosexuality, but added that people liked the fact the singer didn't try to hide who he was.
The campaigner also said Michael and other gay performers had had to endure "absolutely shocking" abuse from newspapers such as the Sun and the Daily Mail during the 1980s. "They'd to these gory, vile exposes, projecting the idea that to be gay was a scandal," he told Paul.#
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