Award-winning out gay Australian country music singer Michael Waugh has revealed that he hid his sexuality for years after being subjected to homophobia as a young person.

Waugh, won the Golden Guitar award presented by the Country Music Association of Australia in April, for his latest album The Cast, which was released last year.

Waugh told the Daily Telegraph that he was bullied and bashed in school for the way he looked and walked. “For me, it was the way that I walked and the way that I talked and that I could not hide who I was,” Waugh said, adding, “I hated my body for betraying me because it literally put me in positions of danger; there were places in the school that I couldn’t go to without fear of being beaten up.