British singer/actor Duncan James revealed that his daughter Tianie has been receiving hateful messages about his sexuality after he came out as gay.
Although he’s developed some thick skin over the years, the former boyband star revealed this month that his 16-year-old daughter has also become a target of abuse by “trolls” online.
“People have written to her, saying, ‘Isn’t it disgusting your dad’s gay?’ ‘How do you feel?’ 'You must be ashamed of him’, and stuff like that,” James told the Sun’s Fabulous magazine. “And you’re just like, ‘Why are you writing to a kid saying stuff like that? Are you really crazy?’ People are just awful.”
Known for his role in the early 2000’s UK boy band Blue, James first came out as bisexual in 2009 and told the world he was gay in 2017. His daughter Tianie was born in 2005 to his former girlfriend, ballerina Claire Grainger, and she’s now literally following in her mother’s footsteps by studying at the Royal Ballet School in London.
James said Tianie is like most teenagers; she spends a lot of time on social media, where unfortunately a lot of the hurtful messages are coming from.
“She is at an age where she is very much into her phone, and her friends are all on social media platforms like TikTok,” he said. “It’s very much her life.”
James said Tianie is also aware that people could be “horrible.”
“People can be quite nasty about me being gay, and say quite horrible things about the fact that I’m a gay dad,” he told Fabulous magazine.
The 42-year-old singer said it’s not just his teenage daughter who has been getting abusive messages about his sexuality since he came out of the closet.
“I’ve had quite a lot of people from other countries writing to me in disbelief that I’m gay, saying I’m going to burn in hell, it’s a sin and I’m going to be punished by God,” he told Fabulous magazine. “I think it’s probably because they’re frightened about it, or they don’t have the awareness, or their religion has dictated that it’s wrong and it’s disgusting.”
Despite the hateful messages targeted at him and his family, James said he’s very happy with his boyfriend Rodrigo, and that engagement and more kids could very well be in their future.
“We have talked about getting engaged at some point but that would have to come once we’re out of lockdown and our finances are better,” James said. “For Rodrigo, having children is really important, so we have talked about it.”
“[Rodrigo] said he would love to be a father at some point,” James continued. “The thing with me is I don’t want to commit to having a child until I am married, and I know it’s a secure relationship. I think having a child is something you have to think long and hard about, especially in a gay relationship, because it’s a lot harder.”