Troye Sivan spoke out about being gay on YouTube, and how wanting to tweet about “sexy Harry Styles” encouraged him come out.
Here are some of the highlights of his discussion during the LGBT panel at the New Jersey Playlist Live Tri-State in Secaucus. Tyler Oakley was also there and talked about his own experiences.
Do you ever get nervous that when you come out, that people will just see you only as “gay”?
Troye: One day, I want to kiss a guy in a club, not a gay club, without feeling scared. I don’t really worry about people seeing me only as gay. I can never not imagine myself not getting butterflies whenever I have to come out to somebody.
What was the process like before you officially came out?
Troye: I think I was just scared, so I kind of just put it off for a while. One day I just decided to randomly tell a friend even though I really wasn’t ready. I didn’t talk about it for like six months after that, but it kind of made me start to deal with it and research it and watch coming out videos on Youtube and stuff like that. Then I kind of began my progress of coming out.
Once you came to terms with your sexuality – what was the coming out process like to your friends and family?
Troye: For me, I came out to my dad, and then he told the rest of the family on behalf of me, which is cool and I appreciated it. Over a week, each one of my siblings came into my room crying, and then tried to hug me, and it was all good and was really, really cool. My grandma has Alzheimers now and I have to like, keep coming out to her, and every time shes like [shocked] and then she’s fine with it. She freaks out and then she’s fine the next second because she forgets.
How is coming out on YouTube different than coming out in person?
Troye: The most awkward thing was editing my coming out video. It was really, really weird to cut together. It was such a personal story, it was very difficult for me to watch at the time because I was so nervous. At that time, it was more than just my Youtube subscribers and all that. I was like coming out to everyone in my community back home. I was in LA, but I knew everyone at my old school was going to see this. That was a big deal for me. Its kind of nice, now when I meet new people, I don’t feel that nervousness or awkwardness. Because I assume everyone’s seen my Youtube channel. I feel like I’ve had to come out in person a lot less since I made the video. That has made me a much less anxious person in general.
What influenced you to come out on YouTube?
Troye: Those Youtube videos and resources – they helped me so much that I just felt really, really grateful – and it just so happened that I made YouTube videos. I was just so ready to tweet about Harry Styles whenever I wanted. And it actually got frustrating. It was the same as coming out in real life. It got to the point like…I’m not ashamed of this. Why should I hide it? Plus, this YouTube community helped me so much, so hopefully I can help some other people. It got to the point that I was just so ready for it.
Troye: This is a fun fact. I was in negotiations with my record contract at that time. I was almost 100 percent positive that my label was going to drop me, like not sign my deal, if I came out. And I did it anyway, because I thought I was ready and I thought it was very important. They didn’t [drop me]. I think it’s very important to see gay people in both the online and traditional space. Watching people succeed whilst being gay. That’s the most powerful thing. Seeing a gay person having a normal life, having friends, having a partner. These are all things, that me, as a 13 year old – seeing a gay person as a partner and a kid, I would be like, oh my god. I can actually be a dad. I think it is important to see.