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Since rising to fame in 2011 after winning Australia’s Got Talent, Jack Vidgen has definitely experienced quite a lot in his life.
Not only has he had to face challenges during his many reality TV appearances, including his recent stint on Australian Ninja Warrior where he won $10,000 for his chosen charity, but he’s also had to come to terms with his sexuality while living life in the spotlight.
“It definitely was an added pressure,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle about his coming out experience.
“I remember the day after I won Australia’s Got Talent when I was 14, I had an interview on Sunday Night and Kyle Sandilands was interviewing me and he asked me so out of the blue, ‘So, boyfriend? Girlfriend?’.
“He put me on the spot and I mean, now I’m friends with Kyle and I know it would never have been coming from a place of wanting to out me because he loves the gays. But I was like, ‘Holy s**t, does someone know something that I don't know? Have I said something? Has someone found out something?’.
“And even though I didn't know my sexuality, I knew that I was different in some way and that related to sexuality.”
Jack went on to say that stepping away from the limelight when he was 16 years old definitely put him in “a safer position” to discover his sexuality.
“I quit music for about five years and within that time was when I came out,” he shares. “So I think it helped me in a lot of ways doing that.
“And then after getting back into the public eye, I kind of had to do a second coming out,” he continues, before adding with a laugh, “Even though everyone already knew”.
‘A whole new ball game’
The I’m A Celebrity star describes his second time in the spotlight as “completely different” to his first experience as a teenager.
“I mean, my last single was called PTSD, which stands for Playing Tennis Sucking Dick,” he remarks. “And my ass is on the front cover in a thong. So it's definitely been a bit of a 180 from singing Whitney Houston 10 years ago in a waistcoat.”
He also said that in the last four years of being a public figure he’s had to navigate what life is like “as a fresh gay man”.
“It's a whole new ball game as well once you come out and how you navigate drinking, drugs, sex and identity,” he details. “It's a whole new set of cards that you're dealt.”
In an effort to help other people in the LGBTQIA+ community be more educated in queer sex education, Jack has recently become a Lovehoney Ambassador.
“My sex ed was pretty scarce, I had to learn it all myself,” he says.
“I wrote in my first piece for Lovehoney how basically porn became my teachings, and that's the last place you should get foundational lessons from. And so sex for me was really paired with secrecy and in my mind, it became this dirty, bad thing which then just kind of led to a whole lot of other issues about life.
“I’ve really only just now come into a space where I'm wanting to seek out what an authentic, healthy sex life looks like as a 25-year-old gay man now.”
When asked what he wishes he could go back and tell his younger self, Jack has a simple answer: “I would just want to hug myself.”
“I've tried every therapy under the sun, I’m a big fan of therapy, and one of the main things that I've really found is when you go back and you kind of talk to your younger self, it's less about speaking and more about just an embrace and a feeling,” he shares.
“And that feeling is definitely just a feeling of being okay and accepted and loved and telling them they are enough, which I think is fundamentally what we all need to feel about ourselves and need to feel from other people to kind of healthily live out our lives.”
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