Boyzone wasn't really my musically taste, but he was certainly an inspiration to many young gay men and someone I respected. Pete and I even saw him on stage in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
I always thought he was the cute one in Boyzone and when he announced that he was gay, I was surprised and secretly pleased. Despite all of the potential problems that coming out could have caused to his career, he was brave and defied the press that was going to "out" him.
Indirectly, his actions inspired me to sort my own life out and tell my friends and family that I was gay. And from what I have read, he helped many other young gay guys to do the same. When you need to make a big decision such as coming out, role models can be important. The strange thing for me and many others that had no real connection with his music, was that we understood what he had gone through and appreciated what he had done had taken great courage.
Thirty-three years old is far too young an age to die and it's a lesson to all of us who procrastinate, to get out there and enjoy life while we can.