Wayne Sleep reveals how he couldn’t come out as gay when his mother was alive

Celebrity Big Brother contestant Wayne Sleep has revealed how he didn’t come out as gay until his mother had died because he thought it would hurt her too much to know.

Retired British ballet dancer and choreographer Wayne was speaking to his fellow housemates, Made in Chelsea star and social influencer Ashley James, and American rapper Ginuwine, when he opened up about coming out.

He explained to them: “‘It was crazy. I was a one-parent family. She’d had me out of wedlock in 1948. In those days it was thought of as a sin – she was 25 years old, she wasn’t a baby.


Wayne is most known for being a ballet dancer and is the shortest male dancer to be admitted to the Royal Ballet School. At 5ft.2 he was notoriously too small for many of the traditional male roles in ballet and so roles were specifically adjusted or made for him.

Wayne had to have roles specially adjusts for him due to his height (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

While discussing his sexuality he confessed that his friends, including rock legend Freddie Mercury, urged him to come out as gay: “I waited until she passed because people like my friends – I had a friend called David Hockney, he was a painter, and Freddie Mercury and that – they were going: ‘Come on, come out, come out!’”

It wasn’t until he was in his 40’s and his mum had passed that, the now 69-year-old, Wayne Sleep came out as gay.

He now lives with his husband José Bergera, who he met 23 years ago in a bar in Spain, in West London.

Speaking more of his famous friend Freddie Mercury he said: “‘He was amazing, he was so generous. He loved the ballet and the opera so he’d come to the opera house to see us dance and then I became friends with him”.

After Freddie Mercury met Wayne after attending a ballet they became good friends. Here Freddie and Wayne are at a party for the musical “42nd Street” (Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage)

Freddie famously died of AIDS in 1991 at the age of 45. He had several long-term relationships with both men and women, however, was in a relationship with hairdresser Jim Hutton for the final seven years of his life.

Despite now being somewhat of a gay icon Mercury was notorious for being non-confirmative when asked in interviews about his sexuality and often refused to give a straight answer to the question.

Despite his less than glamorous upbringing with his single mum Wayne has made quite the life for himself.

Some of his highlights include dancing with Princess Diana at the annual Christmas party of the Friends of Covent Garden at the Royal Opera House in 1985 to Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl and flying to Ibiza on a private jet for Mercury’s 40th birthday.

Princess Diana was another one of Wayne’s close friends. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Now in the Celebrity Big Brother house, Wayne has been charming the British public and evidently his housemates as he managed to survive the first round of nominations.

No matter at what age he did it Wayne is now a happily out gay man and he’s not afraid to show it.