LGBTQ Heroes: Troye Sivan – the queer pop star inspiring us all
As he continues his world-wide Bloom tour, Troye Sivan is hitting all of the right notes.
Sivan’s music is polished - ranging from bright, vibrant tracks, to more introspective but still very listenable music that demonstrates his maturity and experience in the music industry.
You can sense a growing confidence in Sivan. Sivan is showing us the world how to be an authentic pop-star, simply by being himself, and writing songs that reflect his experience and his point of view.
Sivan has been working hard in the entertainment industry since about the age of 11, when he started appearing in television shows in Australia where he grew up. He talked publicly about being gay in a YouTube video, when he was about 18 – he’d told his family a few years before that.
“I just got to this place where I was so gay in my personal life, and really proud of it…” Sivan explained in a recent Vogue interview. “And I was like, I want to share this with the whole world.”
You get the sense that Sivan has always had a fairly clear and unapologetic view of who he is. What’s fantastic is that it’s working for him – Bloom, his second album, topped of the charts, and his extensive tour is about to see him returning to Australia for a series of live shows - it’s not just the gays that are buying Sivan’s music. Sivan also picked up a Golden Globe nomination for the track Revelation from the film Boy Erased – in which Sivan also made his major acting debut. He’s a major star with wide appeal, but he does question whether being proudly queer sometimes limits his appeal.
“Part of me wonders sometimes if I would be more commercially successful if I wasn’t gay or not as ‘in your face gay’…” Sivan recently explained to the Homo Sapiens podcast. “Sometimes it can be frustrating because I’m giving my all and not having some humongous radio smash all over the world. Maybe the music just isn’t good enough, maybe the world is obsessed with hip hop right now and I’m making the furthest thing from hip hop. It could be a myriad other things, but a part of me wonders sometimes, is the world actually ready right now for what I’m trying to be?”
What’s particularly appealing about Sivan, is that he’s not trying to project some sort of hyper-masculine image - the sexual awakening that he seems to be exploring through the music of his album Bloom has an undeniably queer aesthetic.
Now based in Los Angeles, Sivan lives with his boyfriend Jacob Bixenman – they’ve been together for about three years.
“Sometimes I really forget that there are straight people in LA,” Sivan said, in a recent interview with The Guardian. “I have almost exclusively LGBT people around me. That instilled a sense of confidence in me – that I have every reason to be proud of who I am.”
It’s hard to articulate how powerful it is to have queer role models such as Troye Sivan. For young LGBTQ people to be able to support and idolise a successful musician who not only shares a lot of their experiences, but also sings about them - it’s a total game-changer from when pop-stars had to remain in the closet for fear of damaging their career.