Boy George has warned of the increased danger to gay men and flamboyant dressers after his oldest friend and confidante, fashion designer Philip Salon, was brutally bashed by thugs in an apparent gay bashing incident in central London last weekend. While police refuse to deem the crime – which has seen Salon remain in hospital with severe head injuries – a hate crime or gay bashing, the ‘Karma Chameleon’ singer has hit out at what he perceives to be increasing intolerance towards gay men.

He told reporters that Salon’s extroverted dress sense which made him an icon amongst London’s club scene in the 1980s was something that sadly appears to be less tolerated in society. “These things go in circles,” he said. “In the early 80s there was this sense that things were changing, and becoming more open-minded. But we don’t have that sort of gorgeous youth culture any more, the glam rockers, the New Romantics. People aren’t so individual any more. There is this sense of why would you want to stand out and make a show of yourself?”

He continued: “You can find that sort of attitude in the gay community too. That if you are an exhibitionist you are somehow spoiling the big assimilation. Most gay men go out of their way to look normal and fit in, but Philip is not of that breed.” George said that despite increased tolerance of homosexuality, society had a long way to go. “Just because you see a few more gay people on TV doesn’t mean there is no longer a problem. In the last 10 years we have seen lots of attacks in the West End, people have been killed. [Homosexuals being targeted] is not uncommon.”