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Call to clamp down on 'gay' word

Chart star Will Young has said more should be done to clamp down on homophobic language and the use of the word "gay" as an insult in schools.

The Leave Right Now singer said he had even taken up the issue with Education Secretary Michael Gove who he said had been "encouraging".

Young drew attention to his concerns writing in the Independent On Sunday this weekend, as the paper publishes its annual Pink List of powerful gay and lesbian figures.

The Pop Idol winner, who came out shortly after winning the show and has gone on to have an enduring music career, said the issue had to be addressed.

He writes: "A few months ago I attended a teachers/education conference at the Barbican organised by Stonewall.

"Through the various seminars I attended I picked up one recurring theme, teachers and heads of schools were more than often not backed up by local authorities when it came to homophobic language.

"Michael Gove attended the conference and I put it to him that this use of the word gay as a derogatory form of description HAD to be addressed. His reaction, I was pleased to say, was attentive and encouraging. Let's see words turn into actions Michael."

The Pink List 2013 will see broadcaster Clare Balding - who was awarded an OBE this year - ranked as the highest placed celebrity when she is placed at number two when it is published on Sunday.

Last year she also finished second, behind boxer Nicola Adams, who had only recently won an Olympic gold medal .

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