Zoe Ball's son Woody Cook reveals why he wasn't sure he should come out as bisexual
Zoe Ball and Fatboy Slim's son Woody Cook has spoken about why he was hesitant at first to come out as bisexual three years ago.
The 21-year-old DJ was first encouraged to speak out by a model agent when he was 18, to help others in the community feel like they could also be themselves, the MailOnline reports.
But at the time, he feared it would come off as "attention-seeking", he told the publication.
Cook announced he was bisexual in 2019 ahead of his appearance on the channel 4 reality series The Circle.
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"Originally, when I first came out before the show, I'd been doing this modelling thing. I'd been working with an agent who said, 'You should come out'," Cook recalled.
"But I was like, 'Why? Anyone who knows me knows. I just feel like that's attention-seeking.'"
But his agent explained the benefit it could have, with his platform as the son of celebrity parents and a rising star himself.
"He goes, 'No, if you can come out and it can inspire one person to feel better about yourself, you've already won.' And I went, 'You're so right.'" Cook explained.
"I was like 17, 18, a really lovely guy called Patrick... Yeah, he basically went, 'I know you have come from a world where it's okay to be who you are, but not everyone shares that reality.'"
And the agent added, according to Cook, "'A lot of people are really struggling and if they see someone that they can look up to who is open, then maybe they can, or maybe they can show that to their parents. Either way, it can open up conversations.'"
And he agreed. "So I did, yeah. And so I came onto The Circle and I was very, I don't know, I wasn't gonna yell it from the rooftops. It's just one layer of my personality," Cook explained.
After speaking candidly about his sexuality in a magazine interview, Cook was then open about it on the TV show.
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"I flirted with a lot of guys on the show and it's quite apparent. And then I kind of got outed when someone made an artwork of me with like a little rainbow love heart," he told MailOnline.
"I was like, 'Yeah, you know what? I'm bisexual. What about it?' And so for me, I didn't want to drop it in a statement. It was never meant to be a thing. It was just brought up. So I was like, 'Yeah, that's me.'"
In response to a question, Cook explained 'who he was to someone who didn't know him' in an interview with Boys By Girls magazine in January 2019.
"I'm quite talkative and enthusiastic. I'm not a fan of sitting inside all day at home or college – I feel it's really restricting and I'd much rather be out and about," he said.
"I love being outside. I also love spending time with my mates – when I'm with my mates I feel so at home. I really like festivals, and I'm bisexual.
"I'm a bit of a free thinker. I don't care what gender someone is. I'm quite laid back about most things in life, including my sexual orientation."
Cook explained his philosophy was that he really likes making people happy.
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When asked whether his sexuality was a recent discovery or something he's known for years, he responded at the time, "It’s something I’ve known for three years. I always felt, growing up, that I had all these thoughts and I just shook it off.
"Then one day I was at a party, and there was this girl I really liked who said: 'It’s a shame you’re not a girl, I’m only really into girls – it’s great being gay.' And I said, 'Yeah, I’m gay too, I’m bisexual.' I just said it as a laugh at the time, but then the next day I woke up and thought: 'Why did I say that?' And then, the more I thought about it, I thought, 'Oh my god, that explains everything!'"
Cook added, "And then it was that miracle moment, where my entire life had been really conflicted, and I suddenly realised that was it."
He said most of his friends were really accepting, though he did get "a bit of sh**" at school for a while. "But at the end of the day, I don't really care. And since I left school it's been much better."
Cook also spoke about how his parents have accepted his bisexuality. They had him in 2000, before announcing their final separation in 2016 after 18 years of marriage. They also share his sister, Nelly May Lois Cook, 12.
"I told my mum and her first reaction was: 'You can’t be, you like girls?' I got her to look back upon her group of friends and she started to realise she knew more bi people then she thought," he recalled.
"I think it was a bigger thing in her time. Some people assume it's an in-between before you are gay. But really, it’s a thing on its own. I’m sure a lot of gay and straight people who are in that generation are bi, but have never come out or never even realised it because it wasn’t really talked about."
But now Cook is helping to normalise it by doing just that, talking about it. That said, there is no pressure to come out unless you feel ready to, or want to. You might just start by talking about your sexuality with those you feel comfortable with.
For useful advice, see Stonewall's website page on coming out as an adult.
You can also see our guide on coming out as LGBTQ+ and how to support someone.
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