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Years & Years’ Olly Alexander discusses being told to hide his sexuality

By | Published on Tuesday 20 March 2018

Years & Years

Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander has said that he was advised not to discuss being gay with journalists at the beginning of the band’s career. Speaking at a Stonewall event, he said that a media trainer told him to simply stay quiet about his sexuality.

He recalled, according to the BBC: “She said, with very good intentions I’m sure: ‘Why does anybody need to know about your sexuality? What business is it who you go to bed with? Do you really want to invite personal questions like that? Maybe it’s better to not say anything about your sexuality at all'”.

“I ignored her advice”, he went on. “When a journalist did ask me about my sexuality, I said ‘Yes, I’m gay and this song is about a man’. I needed to say that for my fifteen year old self. I needed to say to him, ‘Look, we are not hiding any more'”.

He added that being open in this way has prompted many fans to contact him when they are struggling with their sexuality or gender identity.

“I was honestly quite shocked at the extent of pain people were struggling with”, he said. “I felt like I was hearing an alarm bell ringing. A cry for help that was largely going ignored. That is why I continue to speak out. We have to listen and learn from each other to lift each other up, so we can all live the life we deserve”.