This former singer just became a literal gay icon thanks to new statue

Last year, Ian “H” Watkins — a former member of the British 90s band Steps — described feeling like “the only gay in the village” when he was growing up. Now, that same village is getting a statue erected in his honor.

According to SkyNews, the 8 foot statue of the Welsh singer — funded by private donations and designed by a local artist — will stand at the heart of his hometown, Cowbridge. It is scheduled to be unveiled during Cowbridge Pride, which is an event that H himself organized two years ago.

The announcement of the statue came as a complete shock. “When I got the e-mail informing me, I fell off my chair,” H recalled.

“This is one of my proudest moments – not bad for a Welsh lad lots of people think is as daft as a toilet brush,” he added.

“I love calling Cowbridge my home and I’m very passionate about doing my bit to help make it a better, more inclusive, superb place to live.”

After coming out publicly in 2007, H has been a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. In 2020, he participated in the first same-sex pairing in the UK series Dancing on Ice, and he pressed producers to include a trans contestant. In 2022, the phrase “Blocked by H from Steps” was trending on X/Twitter after the star banned thousands of transphobic so-called fans using automated tools. And last year, H revealed that the reunited Steps had turned down a gig in Dubai over its anti-LGBTQ+ policies.

H currently has a seat on his local town council and hosts a show on Radio Wales. He is raising twin sons with his former partner Craig Ryder and has been in a relationship with tour manager Tom Hope since 2020. Now, H is looking forward to “walking down the street and waving at myself.”

Cultural Cowbridge representative Bethan Davies added that she could think of “nobody more deserving” of a statue.

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