Gay X Factor star Marcus Collins has revealed the torment of being bullied over his sexuality and race has made him a stronger person.
Collins, who is mixed-race, said he was repeatedly targeted both physically and verbally by bullies while growing up in a predominantly white area of Liverpool.
The 23-year-old hairdresser revealed he was set upon in the street while with friends and verbally abused: “When I was younger I got hit a lot because of my colour.
“I also got picked on and bullied for being gay but now I cope with it and as long as I’m true to myself I can be happy,” he said as reported by the Daily Star.
He added: “My sexuality has never been an issue to me. My friends and family love me.
“The worst thing wasn’t the attack but hiding the black eye or having to explain what had happened.”
Collins, who performed Rhianna’s Russian Roulette, said his ordeal as a child has made him stronger. He said: “Being bullied definitely made me tougher. I’ve learned to handle knock-backs and rejection.
“I have a really close-knit family and we talk about everything, so they have helped me through it.”
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