Here’s what the 26-year-old singer had to share with the mag…
On feeling inexperienced in his romantic life: “When it comes to work I feel like a 40-year-old man – my responsibilities, where I live, it’s nuts. But in terms of my romantic life I feel very young, very inexperienced. It’s really hard. I think that’s the same for all queer people”
On his first experience with the gay community: “My first experiences with the gay community weren’t the greatest; it was quite violent and scary at times. And growing up in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, it was quite a shock to the system when I moved to London. I used to love the Vauxhall scene, but everything is getting closed down, which I find really depressing. I know it was dark at times, but it was thrilling and freeing. I miss that for sure. Now I don’t go out that much.”
On those violent experiences: “It was mainly sexual. I didn’t really realise how awful they were until I started therapy and started to uproot some of that stuff. It was a lot. Those first experiences, they weren’t very kind. I wasn’t hurt, it wasn’t anything absolutely awful, but it was traumatic. It wasn’t a good welcoming into my sexual life and my life as a young man. I think it definitely stunted my belief in love at times. That’s probably the first time I started to feel sadness. I’m making it sound like it was mental. It wasn’t orgies. It was just a very different life to the one I knew in the countryside.”
On coming out as nonbinary: “Ever since I was a little boy, ever since I was a little human, I didn’t feel comfortable being a man really. I never really did. Some days I’ve got my manly side and some days I’ve got my womanly side, but it’s when I’m in the middle of that switch that I get really, really depressed and sad. Because I don’t know who I am or where I am or what I’m doing, and I feel very misunderstood by myself. I realised that’s because I don’t fit into either. I was with my mum last night and she said something so beautiful. “I’m so relieved that you and me and your whole family have a way to explain this, because it’s also been eating me up your whole life.” Because my mum could see it and that it was a torture going on in my mind. But I’m also very scared, because I’ve lived my life as a minority and now it makes me scared because I’m trying to explain it to people around me and they don’t understand. It feels like a new conversation, but I’m now learning it isn’t a new conversation and it’s been around for so long.”
See the full feature in the June issue of British GQ available on newsstands and digital download on Friday May 3. GQ Heroes in association with Flannels takes place May 8-10 at Soho Farmhouse.