James Durbin gets a Koi tattoo on the TLC reality show, NY Ink. During his session with the tattoo artist, he talks about being bullied when he was younger. So bad, he was physically assaulted at one point.

He says when he eventually picked up a guitar, things got better, because he got lost in the music. Even if it sounded terrible, the music reflected how he was feeling inside.

The Koi sleeve James had inked has special significance;  Legend has it that the Koi fish swim upstream to a pool at the top where it becomes a dragon. “I decided I wanted to swim upstream rather than be like everyone else,” says James.

Watch James on NY Ink below

http://youtu.be/oaE_jDZB4LA

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  • Anonymous

    Wow – that’s really beautiful.  Work of art.

  • Anonymous

    Nice story.  :)  Tattoo ink hurts!  lol…

  • judes

    I’m not really into tatoos but what a great reason to have this tatoo to keep swimming upstream & not with the tide. As tatoos go this one is very attractive.
    It makes me teary every time I hear about James getting beat up as a young child. No wonder those young kids who have been bullied or have tourettes look up to James for having worked through this & perservered .

  • http://twitter.com/OneTwoDoseyDoe Roger Kramjet

    After hearing this story you would think with the similarities of growing up and being bullied for something you cannot control… for just being who you are… James and Adam’s fans would get along better.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a fan of both.  :)  But Adam has my heart. lol…

  • Anonymous

    “Kids can be really, really mean”

    Unfortunately, not just kids.

  • Anonymous

     heh.  Grown ups can be super mean.  There.  I said it. 

  • Anonymous

    The tattoo is an absolutely gorgeous work of art! I love the story behind the Koi swimming upstream and how/why James wanted that particular tattoo.  I believe he will reach, as Steven Tyler said: “as high as he wants to go… as high as he sings!”

    And Yay for Conan’s show next week!

  • Susan

    Thanks, MJ! This show was on at the same time as Vampire Diaries here, heh, so I had a prior engagement.

    I don’t know if I could ever get a tattoo, but I do prefer colorful ones like these. My nephew is in the process of getting full sleeves of very colorful tattoos… one arm is sort of a gambling theme and the other will all be Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I’m not a fan of tattooing (I’m pretty squeamish  lol), but that one is really beautiful.  It’s no surprise that the  symbolic story of the Koi resonates with James.  I thought that James was very natural in this appearance.  I wonder how much this kind of tattoo would cost to have done?

  • Anonymous

    That tattoo really is a work of art and perfect for James.  His whole story is so touching to me, from his father’s death to dealing with his illnesses, throwing himself into music, his and Heidi’s love story, and so on.  I’m one that actually thinks he’s put together quite a good album too.  I’m a Scotty fan for AI10 (which you probably all know), but there’s something about James that makes me want him to succeed, to overcome, in spite of some of his rough edges.  If he can simply continue to make a living from his music, he’s a winner in my book.  Again, on topic, very nice tattoo (if that’s what one is into doing)

  • koshka

    Unpopular Opinion: I think James needs to start talking less about being a childhood victim. I applaud him and any of us that have weathered this type of behavior and come out stronger in the end. Career-wise, I think he needs to find (or make) opportunities to start talking about his music more and where he wants to go with it. I’m certain he has had some interesting experiences since high school. 

    On another note… beautiful tattoo.

  • Tess

    Nice promo for James…these TV (non-singing) gigs seem to be the “thing” for many of the Idols right now – see Clarkson, Kelly.  In 4 minutes James was able to get a lot of himself “out there”…something he doesn’t do as easily in direct interviews.

    His entertainment style and his voice aren’t my bag but I thoroughly enjoyed watching this “bit”.  And, wow, that tatoo was beautiful! Wonder how many sessions and how long the actual tatoo took.

  • koshka

    I completely agree about these (non-singing) gigs. They are a complete necessity these days. I too was thinking about this as I was reading the Kelly bit. Its not just about putting out a good album.. its about marketing yourself. What you say and how you present yourself in these gigs (in sum) are fairly important. 

  • Anonymous

    ((((ugh, so sorry, my keyboard is giving up it’s ghost. I didn’t mean to post that garble)))) see above post for actual reply….

  • GS61

    Not that much of a fan of tattoos, but that one is a real beauty.
    On a more important note, I forget sometimes the enormous guts it took James with his conditions to put himself out there every week in front of millions, and still manage to entertain us so well!

  • Anonymous

    Unpopular Opinion: I think James needs to start talking less about being a childhood victim. I applaud him and any of us that have weathered this type of behavior and come out stronger in the end. Career-wise, I think he needs to find (or make) opportunities to start talking about his music more and where he wants to go with it. I’m certain he has had some interesting experiences since high school.

    Many current artists have a talking point that they use to bring attention to their music. There was an article that was posted here a few months back about how they are a necessity.  

    Looking at the things that James has done over the past few months, it would be wrong to say that the emphasis hasn’t been on his music too.  He’s done too many shows for that to be the case, but I’m sure that the stories of everything that he has had to overcome have helped him.  They’ve let people see both his music, and learn something about him, which makes him  relatable, and allows people to put a face and name with the music.  

    I also think it’s a necessity for someone who releases the type of music that James does.  He’s trying to build up a reputation, and the people who listen to his type of music want more depth from their artists than just the fact that they appeared on AI. I was thinking about this with Crystal and David Cook, and thinking that many people who listen to their style of music are going to write them off simply because of AI, and because the things that they are singing about are not the type of subjects that people expect to hear from people who competed on AI. James letting people see inside his personal life is a good way of showing who he is, and why he might sing certain types of songs.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_P46N6P5XPK22JVXDJJEENXGLVE marie

    I agree with you. Most kids get bullied at some point in their lives. Melanie Omara from the XFactor talked about being bullied.  Kids get bullied for lots of reasons. Unfortunately some people continues to get bullied into their adult life and it gets worse not by kids but by adults. 

  • Anonymous

    The whole gist of the show is centered around the stories behind the clientele choices of tatoos and b/c James choose the koi due to his troubled past he really couldn’t get around it.

    I do wish however that he would’ve plugged his album when Ami asked what his future holds. :-)

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I agree.  Here are even more opinions that are likely to be unpopular.  Thing is, even from the early call for songs (about being bullied, overcoming adversity, etc.), to making a point of posting about Tourettes and Aspergers in his Twitter profile and site biography, and now wanting people to like his songs for their “message” about bullying, I’m seeing this theme as the overriding one to help support James’ album.  Even claiming that his “purpose” in life now is to educate the world about Tourettes and Aspergers, is now coming across a little too much like some lofty crusade.  Sorry, I don’t mean to diminish James’ struggles and his accomplishments in the face of both Tourettes and Aspergers, because that is important and has been an inspiration to so many who are similarly afflicted, as it should be.  I guess, like you said, I would like to see James behave less like a victim. 

  • fuzzywuzzy

    If you are referring to Kelly’s “The Voice” gig, I think that she will probably be performing at some point, so it’s not quite the same thing as James’ tattoo video.

    ETA: Just learned that the guest mentors don’t perform on this show, so perhaps this isn’t such a great choice IF it costs Kelly a performance slot on Idol.

  • Anonymous

    I understand your point, but have to respectfully disagree. It is hearing these stories that helps some of his younger fans to believe it does get better. Well atleast as the mother of one of his younger fans (my son idolizes him) who is autistic and gets bullied that is the way it looks from this perspective.

  • Anonymous

    If you are referring to Kelly’s “The Voice” gig, I think that she will probably be performing at some point, so it’s not quite the same thing as James’ tattoo video.

    Maybe she will, but none of the mentors from last season performed on the show.  It also wouldn’t be the first time that Kelly appeared on a show and didn’t perform.  An artist making people aware of their name, and showing their personality, is just as important as singing a song, especially when people aren’t already familiar with the song.

  • Anonymous

    I agree that James seems to be talking about the bullying he endured as a child a lot lately, but it seems to me that he started talking about it when people began sending him messages about what an inspiration he is to them.  As soon as Screaming and Outcast came out, there was a big increase of kids sending him messages and videos about them going through the same thing.  And there are often messages sent to him from kids with Tourettes too.  So I don’t really think James is using his disabilities as much as I think he is being thrust into that role by some of his fans.  I think he has realized now that there are a lot of kids out there that appreciate his openess about being bullied and look up to him for inspiration.  I don’t think he realized the impact that would have on some kids out there when he first started on AI – he even said in one interview that he didn’t know what to do with being thrust into that role at first. I also don’t think he’s being a victim by talking about something that happened to him as a child.

  • Anonymous

    I also think it’s a necessity for someone who releases the type of music that James does. He’s trying to build up a reputation, and the people who listen to his
    type of music want more depth from their artists than just the fact that
    they appeared on AI

    Not sure I agree with this generalization. I would tend to say that, as a group, peeps who enjoy rock judge artists solely on their music alone and don’t give 2 hoots about their backgrounds. I think I can speak for many when I say….we don’t care who you are, just give us good fist-pumping music with lots of energy.

    I believe the problem James has with the AI label is that his own personal brand will be classified as “pop” or, at the very most “soft mainstream rock” until he puts out music that is proven otherwise, and not when he has the opportunity to share who he is personally and the type of subjects he sings about.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “I also think it’s a necessity for someone who releases the type of music
    that James does. He’s trying to build up a reputation, and the people
    who listen to his
    type of music want more depth from their artists than just the fact that
    they appeared on AI”

    Is that a fair generalization?  I know that I really don’t know very much about most of the artists/musicians whose music I like, and I’m not much of a rock fan.  I may be wrong, but I suspect that rock fans (James target audience) are pretty much totally music-focused and could care less about the backstory of artists they like. 

  • koshka

    “I understand your point, but have to respectfully disagree. It is hearing these stories that helps some of his younger fans to believe it does get better. Well atleast as the mother of one of his younger fans (my son idolizes him) who is autistic and gets bullied that is the way it looks from this perspective.”

    I agree the stories help people of many different types of conditions.. period. But I think James wants a career about more than his conditions. I don’t think he should stop talking about A & T or bullying , I’d just like to see him control the message a bit more. AI is over, the AI tour is over, the single and album have been released.. IMO he needs to ‘start’ establishing his himself a musician, not a musician with a condition. When I say start, I’m not saying he needs to abandon his story, he just needs to steer the focus to his music. 

  • Anonymous

    Again, as someone else said here, I think people may be missing the point of this show.  That is exactly what this show is about – telling the story behind the tattoo and why it means something to the person.  Maybe James should tone down the bullying stories on other shows, but not on this one since that is exactly what this show is about.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “IMO he needs to ‘start’ establishing his himself a musician, not a
    musician with a condition
    . When I say start, I’m not saying he needs to
    abandon his story, he just needs to steer the focus to his music. ”

    Exactly.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, how I agree with what you said, thirdtime. It is also a question asked – or is mentioned by every interviewer since Idol. He can’t control the tics or the ‘coughs’ or little mannerisms when he’s under stress or nervous, so it would be very hard to ignore the question. The tattoo artist asked him if he was okay when he noticed James’ first ‘tic’ and James simply said, “I have tourettes.” 

  • ronnie

    He sure is playing the victim a lot lately- it seems he is constantly trying to make people feel sorry for him.  He has made some pretty nasty comments about other people, it’s a shame even with his unfortunate experience, he feels the need to belittle other people.

  • GS61

    I agree. This is what this show is about. It’s a show about tattooing!
    On other shows and interviews when the focus is on the music, he has talked about the album, his musical influences, people he’s worked with, etc. That’s not what this show is about. He was talking about the meaning behind the tattoo like all the others shown on the episode.

  • koshka

    I don’t agree your first point… I just don’t think he’s thought about how and what he says and the long term impact.

  • Anonymous

    Reminder:

    This post is about James. I’m going to be deleting posts that attempt to drag other Idols into the conversation, even if that particular Idol isn’t namechecked.

  • AllenTX

    “I also think it’s a necessity for someone who releases the type of music that James does. ”

    Actually I feel it’s opposite. A lot of rock bands I like, I don’t even know the name of the members, lead singers or not, let alone their background. I know more about pop singers just because they’re covered more by all the entertainment media.

  • Anonymous

    It looked like to me that He only mentioned it because he was getting the facial ticks that the guy thought he was in pain-He asked him if he was alright. It was obvious the guy didn’t know anything about him and so opened up believe it not not everyone watches AI. OMG  Only james can get a bad review from getting a tatoo.
    Well anyway the tatoo its beautiful & James you are a an inspiration & a sweetheart!

  • GS61

    HaHa. I’ll bet you a million dollars, not one person on NY Ink has EVER watched AI! Most people I know don’t even watch it. lol.

  • Mieps

    And we know lots about him, because we look for it. Most people have hardly heard from him, so to them this may all be news and interesting.
    I think it’s sometimes easy to forget that everything we read here is not common knowledge ;)

    Added: I just saw the video and I think everything fit really well. He didn’t volunteer to talk about it, it was relevant at the time.

  • Leandro Cardim Da Silva

    I don’t even think James likes to talk about his backstory. I think people keep asking him about it and he just talks and producers edit these parts as a highlight cause the dramatic story is catchy.

  • Anonymous

    “I do wish however that he would’ve plugged his album…”

    It took a long time to do that tattoo. I’m sure James talked about his album and songs on the album at some  point but they were edited out.

  • Anonymous

    Actually I feel it’s opposite. A lot of rock bands I like, I don’t even know the name of the members, lead singers or not, let alone their background. I know more about pop singers just because they’re covered more by all the entertainment media.

    I notice that people say this all of the time, but I think that most people don’t realize how much they know about the artists that they like.  But, that’s not what I was talking about, what I meant is that because they are coming off of AI, a lot of people are not going to be open to the alums singing certain types of songs.  People think that the idol alums are just manufactured acts, and that’s initially what makes up their entire reputations.  Having a talking point gives them some depth, and allows people to start believing them when they start to sing about serious subjects like child abuse or suicide.

  • Anonymous

    Beautiful tattoo. I’m not a tattoo fan – I always get visions of the tattoo years later on an old wrinkly arm – lol.  But that is gorgeous and the back story and meaning of the tattoo are relevant to the show’s structure. Good marketing placement too re: creating awareness of James and his brand to a new audience. I doubt there is a lot of crossover between NYInk and AI – lol. 
    I checked twitter after the show and by the comments it was clear his story is new to many who watched the show. In the bubble we could recite his story in our sleep. But marketing is all about reach and the number of impressions made. It takes a lot to get through the clutter and make those 5 impressions to a fresh target audience (sorry – was in advertising and marketing for a long time – I automatically think this way – lol). 

    James’ backstory is germaine to the marketing of the album – MOABD as the marketing tagline goes “is all about looking back at my life and seeing that now in a better light .. or something like that” blah blah. 

    Like I mentioned, I could recite it in my sleep. But at this point of his roll out it should be about growing his audience and fan base beyond Idol. I agree it is 100% about the music to hard rock fans. But this album is not all hard rock and the marketing reflects that. In today’s world, you are your brand, and so his story is part of his brand – and he is building that brand. Obviously, his music is the most important part of his brand. But it’s not the same world it was when classic rockers were coming up. There is no more mystery or aura surrounding today’s rocker or musician. 

    So James has learned all about staying on point in interviews, and about marketing his brand. But I must admit I miss his wild twitter days. When he tweets his personality comes through and he is fun. He would also piss lots of people off – lol. It still comes through occasionally. 

    So, good marketing placement, the story fit NYInk’s structure well, and gorgeous tattoo. I don’t want to see it when he is 70 though – lol!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, you are quite right, they may very well have edited it out. This makes me wonder what, if any, compensation was given to James for appearing on the show. Free tat? Because I’m concerned more about his music career than anything, I think it would’ve been better payment to negotiate terms that the album be mentioned to some degree in the aired episode. Or maybe James just wanted a new tat and stumbled onto this appearance? It really is a stunning work of art.

  • Anonymous

    So, good marketing placement, the story fit NYInk’s structure well, and
    gorgeous tattoo. I don’t want to see it when he is 70 though – lol!

    LOL! When he’s 70 years old, that koi will be swimming ‘downstream’  – it’ll be closer to his elbow than his very broad shoulders & huge biceps!

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Then why would he post that he has Tourettes and Aspergers on his Twitter profile, when that is limited to so few words? I was surprised.

  • Anonymous

    I have absolutely no marketing experience so my opinion is based more on
    personal perspective but I just don’t see how an artist who wants to
    break into the rock world is going to gain new consumers of his/her
    product by going on a reality TV show and talking about his past
    experiences without any demonstration or mere mention of their “music brand”. It makes for good television (and believe me, I greatly enjoy seeing James anywhere and everywhere) but when you are selling a product (in this case music) it seems to me that this product needs to be at least mentioned, if not explicitly shown as in a performance, somewhere in the promotional medium or it is not really marketing the product itself but is instead promoting and marketing something else (in this case James as TV personality).

    Hope that makes sense. :-)

    ETA: I noticed that a similar discussion is going on in the “Melanie Amaro Visits Kelly” thread.

  • http://twitter.com/LexieONeill Lexie O’Neill

    I agree…it does seem strange his album wasn’t mentioned, and for Melanie, that she didn’t sing…would you even bother looking either of these individuals up for their music?    Any itunes bump?

  • GS61

    It’s even worst when women get them on their stomachs pre-childbirthing years.
    Afterwards, after all that stretching……. Uggh!
    (At least he doesn’t have to worry about that. lol)

  • Anonymous

    Happy Birthday James! I’m not into tatoos but that one is gorgeous.

  • Ringo

    It’s odd that to me I feel that the fact that he was not selling his music made James much more genuine and likeable.  There is sometimes an undercurrent here that promotion is everything because everything is measured by record sales.  The music and the art is less important than the place on the charts, the adds on radio play, and the awards on those tv shows.  I would hope that if you really examine it, you care more about the artist and the art than how much money he or she makes or his standing on the charts.
     
    Sometimes I see posters here as being akin to ravid sports fans.  They don’t care so much about the play of the game than they do about the final score.  So what if one artist is turning out wretched techno pop dance drivel, or is singing oldies with a has-been band like Queen.  He is making money and getting better known and our team is therefore winning.  Another artist on The Price is Right?  Who cares? It’s all about the promotion baby!
     
    Those artists who give into this meme disappoint me and usually end up boring me.  I am not a big fan of Durb’s music, but this low-key, serious and honest portrayal fits my view of what an artist should be doing far more than if he used it to push his latest album.  All my opinion, of course.

  • Anonymous

    I agree…it does seem strange his album wasn’t mentioned, and for Melanie, that she didn’t sing…would you even bother looking either of these individuals up for their music?    Any itunes bump?

    Itunes bumps from one off television appearances don’t last long, and they are pretty insignificant for songs that aren’t getting airplay, or for unknown artists.  I say this a lot, but promotional appearances are cumulative.  It’s just as important for James to get his name out to people, so that when they hear his music on the radio they can make a connection.  It’s one of the reasons why labels want DJs to mention their artists names each time they intro a song.
    And honestly, only those of us in the bubble need to check Itunes every hour.

  • http://twitter.com/CanadianLady2 CanadianLady

    Agree 100% re the marketing. Today it’s about the story behind the CD or the book or the movie, etc.

    If you ask to go on to talk about your product, they won’t be interested. They want to know what you can talk about that will entertain/inform their audience. The product is very much secondary. This can change if you are already well-known and the new product is the news.

  • Anonymous

    I hope you don’t misunderstand me. I do care about the quality of the music (or I wouldn’t be a fan….if bad music is being produced I will jump the bandwagon pronto) but on the other hand, as much I hate to admit it (b/c I’ve never been this invested in any music artist before…it actually concerns me sometimes), I am a big enough fan of James to root for his success in the music industry. Or at least as much success and fame as the public will give him. Isn’t that what drives this whole blog….we all have our own Idols we are rooting for….like a grand continuation of the AI season.

    The reason my post used cold marketing terms is solely in response to the the post about his appearance being on NY Ink being a good marketing strategy to sell his product. I maintain the position that I would be willing to bet that most rock people don’t truly give a damn about the personality of musicians, they just care about music put out by the artist, I think b/c everyone here are such Idol fanatics, it is common to project the world of Idol onto all genres. A hard rocker has never come out of Idol with good reasons. AI thrives on the backstories and opinioins about the contestants are frequently formed based on personalities and background moreso than the individual as an artist. The pop and country world may work that way, but not the rock world IMO. 

  • Moria Polonius

    Sometimes I see posters here as being akin to ravid sports fans. They don’t care so much about the play of the game than they do about the final score. So what if one artist is turning out wretched techno pop dance drivel, or is singing oldies with a has-been band like Queen. He is making money and getting better known and our team is therefore winning. Another artist on The Price is Right? Who cares? It’s all about the promotion baby!

    I’m assuming it’s about Adam Lambert? The problem with that sports analogy is that his fans don’t just care about but love that “wretched techno pop dance drivel” and Queen will never be a has-been band.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t have the time to read everyones post, but I saw the whole show and 
    you got the back story for the various clients and the reason they were getting the tattoo they had chosen. One guy was a recovering drug addict, another has celiac disease and so on. I think its the way the show is set up …

    I LOVE the tattoo :) 

    I have mixed feeling about thinking this was a missed opportunity for James to plug his album. I hate when other artist do this !! but on the other hand James hasn’t had a whole lot of opportunities to plug his album on TV. 

    Btw Happy Birthday James !!!

     

  • Anonymous

     I maintain the position that I would be willing to bet that most rock people don’t truly give a damn about the personality of musicians, they just care about music put out by the artist

    If this were true, there wouldn’t be so much talk about rock cred., or rock stars having certain types of personalities.  People might not be consciously aware of it, but there are certain things that they pay attention to.  For example, if people learn that James’ songs come from his experiences, then they are going to be more receptive to his music.  That is part of marketing.  The handlers of rock stars have always made sure that we know certain things about their lives, even if those things were highly exaggerated.  That want to build a picture, and either get us to relate to the artists, or see them as larger than life.  There are very few discussions about rockers that just center around their music, at some point people will start talking about the artists history with women, drinking, drugs, or how they like to live hard and party.

    The music has to be good too, but the backstory helps get people’s attention.

  • http://twitter.com/Miztig Miz

    Also not into tattoos due to their permanence, but that one is quite beautiful. I like the story of the koi too.

    I like shows like this that give you a view of who they are as a person.

  • Anonymous

    For example, if people learn that James’ songs come from his
    experiences, then they are going to be more receptive to his music.

    I think we are going in circles. Knowing the background of Justin Bieber’s songs and the relationship they have to his experiences is not going to make me any more receptive to his music. Can’t see how it’ll work for James.

    Question for anyone…..

    There was another musician on the same episode of NYInk that spoke about her tatoo. Was anyone who
    watched the full NY Ink episode interested enough in her story to actively research her music? I know I didn’t give her a second thought after her spot was over.

    The music has to be good too, but the backstory helps get people’s attention.

    See the above example. I can not think of even one example in my life where I became interested in someone’s music just because their back story grabbed my attention. Again, this is such an Idol mentality that just can’t accurately be projected onto the average rock listener, even possibly the average music listener of any genre outside the Idol bubble. In the Idol world, music may be secondary and incidental (the discrepancy between # of people voting for certain Idols and those that actually purchase their music post-Idol says it all) but you can’t say this for those outside of it.

    And, btw, the term rock credibilty is used when speaking about the music an artist puts out and has absolutely nothing to do with personalities. Musicians are said to have lost their rock cred when their music no longer fits their “projected” genre. (for example, Kiss losing their supposed cred doing disco with “I was made for loving you” and Metallica choosing to go more mainstream with “The Black Album”) I can not think of one example of an artist losing ‘rock credibility” over a particular personality or lifestyle choice.

  • shamrock

    Poor James can’t get it right: If he doesn’t talk about AI he is ungrateful, if he is mentioning it, he is living in the past. ;)

    I am not into tattoos (could never get one myself – low pain threshold plus a needle phobic, LOL), but this one is really beautiful, at least for now on a big biceps, rather not imagine it on a wrinkly one. LOL.

    I like the story about the koi and it seems a perfect fit for James. :) There is a song by TLC “Don’t go chasing Waterfalls”, maybe we should change it for James in “Go chasing Waterfalls” – in this spirit: Happy Birthday, James! (I think I am still just about in time at your place :)) Hope to see you “up the waterfall”.

    About the album plugging: I am torn about it, in a way I like that he isn’t using a show about tattoos and their backstory for a shameless plug, but I also see the need of marketing/putting your name out there.

    As for his backstory: I guess interviewers will keep on asking him about it, and he is not (yet) in the position to pick and choose what he wants to answer and what not. And though I don’t think he revels in talking about his past, I don’t think he minds it too much, but most important of all I don’t get the impression, he talks about it because he wants anybody to pitty him – at least not the position he in now/the person he’s become – but more to bring awareness to a problem that is still largely ignored or sugarcoated.

    ETA:
    Something just came to my mind: A few weeks ago he said (tweeted?) that he had a new tattoo but couldn’t show it to the people. I rembember some teases/guesses if it might be in a “inapropriate place” to show. LOL. I guess he was talking about the NY ink tattoo then. :)