A gay pop star with ‘more fans than I ever imagined’ has written about the pressure to remain closeted.
However, the person has been encouraged to publicly identify as bisexual.
The writer seems to identify as female.
Upon telling her manager her sexual orientation, the ‘first words out of his mouth were “Don’t tell anyone,”‘ she says.
Taking to discussion website Reddit, the individual – named only as Throwaway210517 – added that she knows many closeted gay people in showbiz.
She also says calling yourself ‘bi, pan, fluid, no label’ is considered preferable to ‘gay’ by many in the industry.
The headline of the post is ‘I’m a singer and just figured out I was gay. Manager and PR says I have to stay in the closet forever, or it will mess up my career. Fuck show biz.’
Although the posting is anonymous and therefore difficult to know its veracity, Reddit is known for being a safe space for people to anonymously discuss potentially sensitive issues, such as their sexuality.
Last year, a straight guy used the site to explain how he fell for his best friend.
The year before, a gay guy used the forum to share the heartbreaking story of how he keeps getting dumped for having a small penis.
This most recent post certainly poses some important questions about sexual labels.
It also underlines the importance of being able to say ‘I’m gay’ – if that’s how you identify – in an increasingly sexually-fluid world.
Read Throwaway210517’s full post below:
‘When I first started out in music, I thought I was bi and mostly dated guys. I was really out about it. All the industry people I met said it was really “hot” and definitely an advantage because it meant more male and female fans. I was even told by a famous producer that “Bi trumps gay. It even trumps straight”.
‘There was a very clear opinion that being bi, pan, fluid, no label etc. was “cool”, but being gay was just… gay. You get pigeonholed into the gay scene. But if you’re bi, you can claim both the gay scene and the mainstream.
‘Anyway. I’m so lucky that my career has taken off and I have more fans than I ever imagined I would. Lately I’ve done a lot of reflecting and realised I was actually 100% gay. Well fuck.
‘I told my manager and producers, who I’m really close to. First words out of his mouth were, “Don’t tell anyone.” Said I’d lose tons of male fans and become a niche gay artist. And that I better not “shave my head and go all dykey”. They said I don’t have to actively lie that I’m bisexual, but if any questions come up I should just avoid it by saying something about fluidity and not everyone needs a label.
‘In the big scheme of things, it’s not the end of the world. Worse stuff has happened to me in the industry. I could write a book about how artists are treated, especially women! I’m fortunate to live in a time where I can date a woman and it’s not a big deal. (And if I get a big platform, I will come out. But right now it would just erase me from the industry forever.)
‘What’s fucking with my head is I talked to some other artist friends of mine who I knew were some kind of queer. And many told me they were actually gay, but had to play the same game. “You can be gay in behaviour all you want, just don’t ever say the word gay or lesbian or homosexual.” They told me about their friends, who included well-known artists and actors, who were also closeted gays. In fact it seems a way bigger issue in the movie industry, because you need to be taken seriously in straight roles.
‘It’s totally changed my perspective. I used to wonder where all the gay celebrities were, and why everyone was “no label” these days. Now I know they are hiding in plain sight.
‘Of course a lot of them are actually in that grey area. And I will take their word for it. It’s a real orientation, and doesn’t mean you’re closeted or confused. But it’s sad how many gay people are forced to do it too. It will never be cool to be gay, because you lose your appeal to the majority of people. And show biz depends on appealing to people. No matter how accepting society becomes, the media will be full of closeted people.
‘It makes me that much more appreciative of people who have come out as gay, even if it ruined their careers.’
Gay Star News has messaged the user concerned for further comment.