Packs of screaming girls and young fans asking for pictures are now an everyday occurrence for Blake Kerwin. The 17-year-old is a Justin Bieber look-a-like and these moments do more than just provide the college student with a taste of what life is like for his idol.
According to AsianTown,the recognition provides him with hope and a lightness that has been missing from his life - for the teenager was actually born a girl named Rebecca.
His decision to switch gender and live his life as a boy has seen him on and off the police protection list for five years due to a campaign of abuse that has seen him beaten unconscious and his house pelted with rocks, snowballs and metal poles.
He has even attempted to kill himself in a bid to escape his tormentors.
But Blake said yesterday he finds comfort in impersonating Bieber, 20, and that the Canadian pop star’s music has given him the confidence to be himself.
Summing up how Bieber inspires him, he says ‘It didn’t matter how many times I got knocked on the floor’ because: ‘I’ve had physical abuse and hate but Justin’s words bring me back up again’.
He has since worked hard perfecting the likeness, closely studying music videos and interviews to memorise Bieber’s mannerisms and spending hundreds of pounds on clothing, sometimes spending days trawling the internet to find versions of the singer’s outfits at affordable prices.
However, the work has paid off and he is often mistaken for the real Bieber.
He said: ‘I’ve had my shades on and my hat backwards and I went into Blackpool and a small girl came up and her mum asked if she could have her picture taken with me because she thought I really was Justin Bieber. And, when I went to Birmingham, these girls on the escalators were going crazy because they thought I was him.’