With his electro-pop 2015 debut album, Blue Neighbourhood, Australian teen heartthrob Troye Sivan – who originally rose to fame via his YouTube persona – began to make a claim as a bona fide pop star. His dreamy videos continue to attract millions of adoring fans, and he paired up with Alessia Cara for the VMAs and a video for their collaboration, "Wild." The fact that he's done it on his own terms – as an openly gay singer – is one he credits for his success.
In a exclusive video for Rolling Stone, Sivan explains why coming out was essential for his music. "I didn't want to sign my record deal 'closeted,' so I came out right before I signed my deal," he says. "It allowed me from day one to write music that was completely honest."
He also offers advice for others struggling with their sexuality. "The first step and the hardest step is coming out to yourself," he says. "Realizing who you are and your identity – once you’ve gotten past that process – make sure you’re in a safe environment. And if you feel it is a safe environment, I would highly highly recommend coming out. I can speak from personal experience and say it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done in my entire life."
Troye Sivan is currently in the middle of playing concerts for his North American tour.