I was shocked to hear this morning about the death of Stephen Gately. Given Boyzone’s manager, Louis Walsh is due on the X Factor tonight I would expect that show to pay some sort of tribute. The reason I mention the death of this musician on a blog about law and sexuality is that the singer was an important figure for many coming to terms with their own sexuality. In 1999 the singer came out in an interview with The Sun newspaper. I remember at the time there was speculation that he was about to be outed anyway and so he chose to ‘jump first’. In any case, it was part of that social transformation in attitudes to sexuality that was taking place in the 1990s and it’s now easy to forget just how significant a member of a high profile group like Boyzone coming out – and being accepted – was.

Pink News reports on his death here and a BBC report (including video, pics) can be viewed here.