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Project Runway's Tim Gunn Tried Suicide at 17

Project Runway’sTim Gunn, whose book Gunn’s Golden Rules has just been released, talked to People Magazine about some of the deeply personal revelations in his book. Here are some excerpts from his interview in the current issue of the magazine:

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“Sometimes people ask when I figured out when I was gay. For a long time, I didn’t know what I was. I knew what I wasn’t: I wasn’t interested in boys, and I really wasn’t interested in girls. Things have changed so much; it’s hard for young people to imagine what it was like to be gay back then. You used to feel so alone. When I was thinking I might not be John Wayne material, the only role model I had was Paul; Lynde from Bewitched. He was gawky and ridiculous.”

“In my parents home, the term “gay” wasn’t even in our vocabulary. If I tried to talk about anything remotely related they’d say, “We’ve never heard of this!” But I think they knew that “this” was what I was, and that’s part of why they sent me ti shrinks constantly. I wound up seeing a wonderful therapist. When I was seventeen, I’d made a serious suicide attempt. I was at yet another boarding school – I must have cycled through a dozen. I had no friends. I was depressed. I wanted to end it all. In my dorm room at Milford Academy I took too many pills, then lay down with a sense of peaceful resignation. Much to my frustration, I woke up the next morning. Now, of course, I’m glad it didn’t work. When I got beyond my stutter at nineteen, my world opened up.”

“In my twenties, I was madly in love with the same man for almost a decade. It was fabulous. [Then] one night he told me he’d been sleeping around. I could hardly breathe from grief, humiliation and despair. Much of my boyfriend’s “I’m over this” was about sex. I’ve always been kind of asexual. That breakup was a cold shower to last a lifetime.”

“When people hear I haven’t had a boyfriend since 1982, they often whisper, “Does he not have sex?” That’s right! Could I get psychiatric help? Probably. It’s a little late.”

“It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that my mother, who has never acknowledged that I’m gay, stopped talking about women to fix me up with. She says, “What about old age? Don’t you want to be with someone?” I’ve started to say, sincerely, “Maybe not.” I am really happy alone. Back when I was seventeen, I never imagined I’d have a beautiful apartment, a job I love, witty friends. I think about that when fans call out, “We love you, Tim!” I want to respond, “I love you too!” I mean it.”

Read more at Greg in Hollywood

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