Sitting in the corner of a quiet east London gay pub, Will Young makes for quite the unassuming figure. He's alone at the table my fault, I'm late , chatting away on the phone. It's honestly fine, he reassures me with a smile as I put our pints on the table. With a book in the works, his new album mixed that day and the third season of his podcast in the process of dropping, Young tells me he was quite pleased, actually, to just have a moment. Having spent the past few days immersed in all things Will Young, I've learned a lot about the man sitting opposite me. Take, for instance, his music.
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Canada's entry in this year's Oscars is a gay coming-of-age story set during the Sri Lankan civil war. It's called "Funny Boy," and it's the second time Indian-born director Deepa Mehta has represented her adopted country at the Oscars. Mehta is known for films that explore what it means to be an outsider and, as Bilal Qureshi reports, for films that often ignite controversy. Queer film scholar B. Ruby Rich sets the scene. You see all of these kids playing, and they're mostly girls.
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William Robert Young born 20 January is a British singer-songwriter, author and actor from Wokingham , England,  who came to prominence after winning the inaugural series of the ITV talent contest Pop Idol , making him the first winner of the worldwide Idol franchise. As a teenager, Young studied politics at the University of Exeter before moving to London, where he studied musical theatre at Arts Educational School. Young put his studies on hold in late to become a contestant on Pop Idol.
He goes by Michael, or more often Mike, a Western name he adopted in childhood, after he and his parents emigrated to the United States from Japan. Such adaptations are common enough among the foreign-born and -extracted, a way for the Hee-Juns and Rahuls of the world to more easily slip into the rough stream of American life. But something is effaced when you become a James or a Robert: a part of your identity, your heritage, perhaps even your essence.