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Page last updated at 08:52 GMT, Friday, 13 May 2011 09:52 UK

What makes a good gay role model?

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Pop star George Michael has apologised for being a bad role model for young gay people, as he prepares to tour again for the first time in three years.

But should famous gay men feel a duty to act as role models?

John Amechi, the first openly gay NBA player, says he didn't have any specifically gay role models growing up, but when he was growing up, someone like Daley Thompson was "the kind of person you'd want to have as your dad".

But while writer and commentator Matthew Parris says it couldn't hurt for people to have a little thought about the example they set, he wasn't sure that anyone "ought to feel that they live their life as a beacon for other people".

The people who inspired him when he was growing up were simply gay men who were successful and happy.

"The important thing is to be kind of cheerful," he explained. "Self-pity is pointless."


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