Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears asks people to ‘keep their queer values’ in candid interview
Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears has asked the LGBT+ community to “keep their queer values” as society becomes more accepting of gay people.
In a candid interview about his life as a gay man, the singer said that “not everyone needs to assume the mould” of a nuclear family in order to be accepted.
“It’s important that as society becomes more inclusive, we’re allowed to marry each other, that we keep our queer values,” the musician told Channel 4.
“People do their own thing. Not everyone needs to assume the mould.”
Shears, who resides in New York, said that he was “violently harassed” as an openly gay teen in his hometown of Mesa, Arizona.
“I remember being in the principal’s office because I’d been harassed by other kids in the school violently,” he said.
“I came out when I was 15 at school, and I realised I had put myself into a precarious situation. It was a very hostile environment for me and a lot of kids had it in for me. It was a scary situation. I was very impatient. I wanted to grow up now.
“When I went into the office he told me that if I’d just kept your private life to yourself, none of this would be happening. Tears just came to my eyes; I was so mad,” he said.
President Donald Trump’s administration scrapped Title IX protections – which allow trans students to use the bathroom of their choice at school – last year.
And Oklahoma and Kansas voted to allow adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples last week, sparking another wave of concern for LGBT+ people under Trump.
“Do I feel safe in Trump’s America? Well I do feel safe, but I do feel scared,” said Shears.
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“I know plenty of Trump supporters, I’m friends with Trump supporters, and in my family… I think it’s very important to keep a dialogue, face to face, as much as possible. I think as people, we’re isolating ourselves. We’re talking to each other through our phones, arguing, those divisions freak me out.
I do think it’s possible to change people’s minds,” he added.
“It’s one of my goals with my music. I hope that I do make music that can speak to anyone. I don’t just want to play for a queer crowd.”
In recent years Shears has released a solo album and taken on the role of Charlie Price in Kinky Boots.
He also wrote an autobiography earlier on this year entitled Boys Keep Swinging.