By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com March 24 2014 4:09 PM ET
The lead singer of Neon Trees has come out as gay, and he's urging his fans to strive for an honest life as well.
After first revealing his sexual orientation in a Rolling Stone interview, musician Tyler Glenn posted a long note on the Neon Trees Facebook page late Monday night thanking his fans old and new for "so much compassion and love." He then urged them to "come out as you."
"I guess the last thing I want to say tonight and for now is if you're like me, a wanderer, a questioner, a soul searcher, a dreamer, or misunderstood for any reason at all: Come out," Glenn concluded. "Come out as a wanderer. Come out as a questioner. One day it wont matter. But it still does. Come out as YOU. That’s all I really can say. That’s what i’d say to me at 21, the scared return mormon missionary who knew this part of himself but loved God too. You can do both. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t."
Read the full note on the Neon Trees Facebook page.
In an interview to be released Friday in the upcoming print issue of Rolling Stone, Glenn, 30, revealed his sexual orientation and the conflicted emotions he had toward his Mormon faith, which resulted in years of repression.
"I had my crushes on guys throughout high school, but it was never an overwhelming thing until my 20s," the frontman revealed. "Then I'd be dating girls and in love with my straight friend and it was the worst feeling in the world."
"We were always taught, and I hate this word, 'tolerance,'" he said in reference to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s opposition to same-sex love both morally and politically. "The only time that felt different was when the Prop. 8 thing came up.”
Glenn began coming out privately to family and friends in October 2013 while writing music for the upcoming Neon Trees album Pop Psychology, which includes lyrics that speak about his experiences as a closeted gay man. He says his coming out was partly inspired by athletes like NFL hopeful Michael Sam, who recently came forward about his sexual orientation.
"I really love all of the sports figures that are coming out recently," he said. "I appreciated Michael Sam was like, 'I want to be able to go to the movies and hold hands with my boyfriend.' Even hearing him say 'boyfriend,' I was just like, 'that's cool.'"