"I ignored her advice."
Years & Years‘ Olly Alexander has revealed that he was told to not mention the fact he was gay, when the band got their record deal.
Speaking at LGBT charity Stonewall‘s fundraiser last night, he told how he was advised to stay in the closet, during media training.
“What happened after we signed was, we got offered media training,” he told the event’s guests.
“One afternoon I met a very nice lady whose job was to help us answer questions in interviews – give us tips, tell us what journalists might try to trip us up on.
“I asked her what she thought about me being gay.
“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’.”
The singer then told how he “ignored her advice”.
He also spoke about the time he came out to the media.
“The moment came when a journalist did ask me what my sexuality was, and I said, yes, I’m gay, this song is about a man,” he revealed.
“It was a really big moment for me, and I realised I needed to say that for my 15-year-old self. I needed to say to him, look, we are not hiding any more.”
His honesty helped fans who were struggling with their sexuality.
“I saw first-hand how being open and honest and vulnerable in myself inspired that in others,” he said.
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Last summer, the Years & Years frontman released ‘Growing Up Gay‘, a powerful documentary which explored why the queer community are more vulnerable to mental health issues.
He opened up about his own depression, and the homophobic bullying which drove him to bulimia and self-harm.
He also spoke out about the “damage” people like Piers Morgan do to the LGBTQ community, with their disparaging comments.
Meanwhile, Years & Years recently made their comeback with new track ‘Sanctify‘ – the first single to be taken off their upcoming second album.
The trio released their debut album ‘Communion‘ in 2015, scoring their first UK Number One with it.