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CBeebies to have Will Young read children ‘bedtime story’ about gay adoption as he says ‘inclusivity must start at youngest age possible’

Will Young is due to read a story about same-sex parents on CBeebies, the BBC’s children’s channel, explaining that “inclusivity must start at youngest age possible”. The singer is due to appear on the channel’s popular Bedtime Stories show, broadcast at 6.50pm every night, in order to mark LGBT history month. Famous faces who have appeared on the show include Tom Hardy, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Tim Peake. He has chosen the book Two Dads for his bedtime story, which is the tale of a boy who has been adopted and finds himself happily raised by two fathers. He said: “Children’s books are one of the first ways we learn about the world around us so I’m overjoyed to be reading a story to mark LGBT History Month. More so than ever, families in all forms should be recognised and celebrated – whether that’s two dads, two mums, families with a mum and a dad, those with a single parent, adoptive families and so on.” “I’ve never been more sure that inclusivity starts from the youngest possible age. I hope these stories will be used for years to come.” Will Young recently made headlines by threatening to report Jeremy Clarkson’s Amazon car show, The Grand Tour, to Ofcom after accusing the presenters of homophobic remarks. He said at the time: “How dare they stereotype gay men. I DON’T drive a Wrangler Jeep. I DON’T wear pink shirts . I DON’T wear a—less chaps.” “You can be honest and funny without this ridiculous ‘lad’ ooh being gay and let’s laugh about it mentality. It’s repulsive and how DARE you do it and put it out.” He is continuing his LGBT activism on his podcast, Homo Sapiens, the third series of which is out now. Two Dads is written by Carolyn Robertson, and illustrated by Sophie Humphreys. Young can be watched reading from the book on February 9. The BBC has started to feature more LGBT stories on the show in order to promote inclusivity, with JB Gill reading Families, Families, Families last year, which is a book about diverse families.  Sharon D Clarke is scheduled to read another same-sex parent book, All Kinds of Families!, later this year.

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 ‘I’m a straight guy – but I’ve fallen in love with my male best friend’

Dear Graham:

My best friend and I have known each other for three years. We are extremely close and it feels like we have been friends forever. I have never been attracted to other men before, and I’ve always been pretty sure that I’m straight, but I’ve always felt differently about my best friend. We have the strangest conversations and do things together and act as if we were in a relationship. Every time he stays at mine I look at him when he falls asleep and just wish I could cuddle him – and he could be comfortable with that. I have had girlfriends and I know what being in love feels like, and this feels like love. He’s always acted the same way towards me, but in other ways he’s more “straight-acting” – football, video games, etc – than me. I know this does not determine sexuality but it has always been a barrier against my telling him about my feelings to see if he might share them. But I am worried that if I do this it could ruin our friendship. Any advice?

Dear Daniel:

This is difficult for me to comment on because I don’t know at what stage of life you are in. Is this a school friend, are you at university or is this man a work colleague? I suppose the question you must ask yourself is: what do you want to happen? Imagine that you tell your friend that you love him, and he says he loves you too. He is happy to cuddle with you at night. What’s next? Do you want to kiss him? To walk down the road holding his hand? You must somehow try to figure out how much of this is a deep connection to one boy and how much might be the beginnings of a new sort of sexuality. A tiny thing like stroking his hair or holding him as he sleeps, opens up larger questions. In an ideal world the love you feel for your friend could remain pure – but it won’t take long before labels are applied. Tread carefully because grand declarations cannot be taken back and you don’t want your feelings to put a wedge between the two of you. Try talking about emotions and attraction with him. Test the water by asking him if he has ever had feelings towards a boy, or even what he thinks about the whole notion of two men being together. If he is as lovely as you say he can probably guess what you are hinting at and either let you down gently or confirm his feelings towards you. If he doesn’t take the bait then don’t be tempted to force the issue. Even boys who like sport and video games notice when someone’s eyes linger a fraction too long or a hug doesn’t want to end. Enjoy your friendship for what it is and maybe one day when you are both ready it could become something more. Try not to get stressed out and instead relish the secret you hold. Falling in love is always as painful as it is wonderful but avoiding it simply isn’t an option.

Graham Norton

Write: Dear Graham, The Daily Telegraph, 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0DT