Derren Brown: ‘Taking up magic was a distraction from my sexuality’

The illusionist, 47, on taxidermy, Christianity, making coffee and coming out in the papersBeing gay facilitated my capacity for shame. As a child, I carried around this thing that gradually became this big dark secret. When I came out in a newspaper interview at 30 I was expecting the reaction the following day to be like the climax of Dead Poets Society, but actually no one really cared. Taking up magic was a distraction from my sexuality. There is that 1970s cliché of the gay man as hairdresser, interior decorator, fashionista… and all of those things are about arranging surfaces in a very dazzling way – and magic is all about how you arrange surfaces. I got very good at deflecting people from things I didn’t want them to see. Continue reading…

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