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Years & Years Frontman Olly Alexander Says His Media Trainer Encouraged Him to Stay in the Closet

Olly Alexnder Years and Years
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Olly Alexander of Years & Years performs in concert during day 4 of Festival Internacional de Benicassim on July 16, 2017 in Benicassim, Spain.

Years & Years’ lead singer Olly Alexander has been open about his sexuality since the band’s inception. The frontman openly identifies as gay and has regularly talked about the difficulty that comes with being open about your sexuality in the music industry.

But in a recent speech at the Stonewall Equality Dinner Friday night (March 16), Alexander revealed that when his band was first starting out, he was encouraged by his media trainer to stay in the closet.

“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,’” he said.

But Alexander chose not to listen. “I ignored her advice,” he said.

The frontman then went on to say that being open about his sexuality was about being the kind of role model he wanted when he was 15. “I realized I needed to say that for my 15-year-old self. I needed to say to him, ‘Look, we are not hiding anymore,’” he said.

The singer also added that equality is an all-or-nothing game, and took time during his speech to promote equality for all people, not just those in the LGBTQ community. “We don’t get equality until we all have equality,” he said. “That is why I continue to speak out. We have to listen and learn from each other to lift each other up, so we can all live the life we deserve.”

Years & Years released their new single “Sanctify” earlier this month. Watch the video for their new song below:

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