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Years & Years’ Olly Alexander On Mental Health Issues: “You’ve Got To Prove You Can Be Happy”

The singer believes his issues with depression are connected to his past struggle with his sexuality.

Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander is getting candid about his struggles with depression and anxiety, and how he feels those issues stemmed from his struggle to accept that he was gay.

Alexander sat down with The Guardian and opened up about how he first came to terms with his sexuality.

“I was about 14 when I really fell in love with my best friend, and I was obsessed with him at school; he was in the year above,” the singer shared.

“Even up until like I was 17 I sort of wanted to be straight,” he added. “So I would keep telling myself, ’I’m straight, I’m straight, I’m straight, maybe I’m straight, maybe I’m bisexual.’ I was like, ’Please let me not be gay, I’ve got enough to deal with.'”

Alexander reached out to doctors at age 19, after years of suffering from mental health problems like depression and anxiety, and believes those issues developed in part because of his struggles with his sexuality.

“I think they’re connected, definitely,” he said. “Growing up in a straight world is difficult. Once you kind of admit to yourself and to the world that you’re gay, there’s this expectation that you put on yourself that you’re fine now, because you have something to prove now.”

He added that once you’ve gone through the coming out process, “you have to prove to yourself that you can live a happy life and that you can be happy.”

Check out his interview with The Guardian below.

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.