Dr. Ranj Singh Is Specializing in a Different Kind of Self-Diagnosis

The good doctor traveled a long and winding road before embracing his identity. These days, he takes pride in helping others do the same.

Stefan Marolachakis

Dr. Ranj Singh nearly left behind his career in medicine before it even started. “I did a year and I was ready to quit,” he says, “because it didn’t feel like I was doing what I was supposed to do.” It was upon entering the field of pediatrics that he finally felt he had found his purpose. “Working with kids really gives me that sense of having done something useful with my life,” he says. “If that means that I get to help people make their lives slightly better in some way, then you know what? I’m really proud to do it.”

While Singh is now happy to be a Renaissance man—pediatrician, TV presenter, columnist, children’s book author—he is perhaps most visibly moved by his role as charity campaigner, working to promote the work of a number of LGBTQ+ and health-focused charities. He finds the goal that drives him most fervently to be “helping young people and kids be happy and proud of who they are and feel like they can be who they are, whoever that might be—and whoever they might later decide to be.”

Sarah Deragon
Dr. Ranj SinghSarah Deragon

When he thinks back on his own journey of self-discovery, his first experience with Pride in London jumps out as a pivotal moment. “I was asked to be on one of the floats with some people that I work with on screen,” he says, “and I didn’t know what to expect.” He approached the day with a mix of excitement and trepidation—but when he found himself floating down the streets of London, standing tall, any anxiety he’d had soon washed away. “You get this overwhelming sense of acceptance,” he says, “which, if you’ve been striving and fighting for that feeling for 30-odd years of your life… is so powerful.” He recalls being overcome with joy. “I remember just gushing with happiness,” he says. “I was just proud.”

“I think it’s important for people from ethnic communities to stand up, to not necessarily come out, but to stand up and be visible”

This moment of acceptance was all the more resonant due to the fact that Singh had felt isolated for most of his life up to that point, having not come out till the age of 30. “I never knew any gay people growing up at all,” he says. “I never had any gay Asian role models.” This all serves to further explain why he takes his emerging status as role model so seriously. “I think it’s important for people from ethnic communities to stand up, to not necessarily come out, but to stand up and be visible and show yourself to the young me that was growing up, who’s thinking, ‘Gosh, there’s nobody else in the world like me.’ I’ve got to be a certain way and actually tell them, ‘You don’t have to be anything. You just have to be yourself.’”