In a candid interview with the U.K.’s Channel 4 News, Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears encouraged LGBT fans to “hang on to certain queer values.”
Shears, Scissor Sisters’ frontman, opened up about being harassed and bullied after coming out as a teen in his hometown of Mesa, Arizona. It was a hostile environment, he recalled, and to this day, he regularly gets messages from closeted LGBT youth in unsafe situations: “A lot of times, I’ll get DMs from kids who want help and… feel like they’re in a hostile environment. And oftentimes, I tell them that I think they should wait a couple years until they’re in a safer spot.”
“It’s a big problem, parents kicking their kids out,” he added. “We’ve got a huge homeless LGBT problem, and that’s part of the reason why.”
The lead singer also spoke openly about the normalization of queer culture—and what that means for LGBT people whose lifestyles might not align with mainstream expectations.
“I think it’s important to remember that as we progress, as the LGBT world becomes more accepted, not to think that we have to assimilate into a heteronormative box,” he said. “I think in America, we just [passed] gay marriage in 2015, which was really exciting. But that doesn’t necessarily mean [marriage] is for everybody.”
“I think it’s important to hang on to certain queer values,” Shears added. “Not everybody’s the same! People do their own thing, and not everybody needs to assume the mold of societal expectations.”
As for how he feels about being a gay man in Trump’s America? It’s scary, he admits, but he hopes he can change people’s minds about the LGBT community through music.
“I hope that I do make music that can speak to anyone,” he said. “I don’t just want to play for a queer crowd.”