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October 30, 2014

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Tyler Glenn, Neon Trees Frontman, Comes Out As Gay

Tyler Glenn, Neon Trees Frontman, Comes Out As Gay

03/25/2014

Tyler Glenn, the lead singer for New Wave-pop group Neon Trees, officially came out as gay.

Tyler Glenn Comes Out

"I've always felt like I'm an open book, and yet obviously I haven't been completely," Glenn told Rolling Stone. "I had my crushes on guys throughout high school, but it was never an overwhelming thing until my twenties. Then I'd be dating girls and in love with my straight friend and it was the worst feeling in the world."

While working on songs for Neon Tree’s newest album Pop Psychology with his songwriting partner, Sugarcult’s Tim Pagnotta, Glenn took his first step in coming out of the closet. The reaction he received was so accepting that it inspired him to continue coming out to people. "He was like, 'Tyler, I love you, and I'm so excited for you.' And that's when I was like, 'Really? Wait. It's OK?' It blew my mind. This changes everything. And of course then I wanted to tell the person next to me on the plane."

All of the members of Neon Trees are Mormon, and the band got their start in Provo, Utah, which has a largely Morman population. While their fan base is diverse, Glenn hopes that the new songs that deal with his struggle with his sexuality don’t alienate anyone. "I hope they don't feel like we're pulling the rug out from under them," he told Rolling Stone, referring to his fans. Glenn also revealed that his band mate Elaine Bradley, a practicing Latter Day Saint, has been accepting, but he's somewhat concerned about what the implications might be in the future.

Glenn On Why He Came Out

As sometimes happens when a celebrity comes out of the closet in a public way, Glenn has received criticism from people, who wonder why his sexuality had to be announced. In an effort to explain his decision, Glenn took to Facebook. For him, the whole process was liberating, freeing him up to dedicate his energy to make the best music he could instead of wasting energy hiding a large part of who he is.

“I don’t think I’m special for being a gay man. That’s not why I came out. I didn't come out so all of you could say “i knew it” based on the clothes I wear or the way I dance,” he wrote on Facebook. “I never even thought I’d have to come out. I’d be the 50 yr old living with dogs hiding my relationships living on a beach somewhere. Maybe then i’d be comfortable with it.”

“But it was last summer, writing songs for the new album, being so fed up with “hiding” and being so ready to be “free” that I poured my heart out into music more than I’d ever had before,” Glenn added. “Music indeed was my first love. Not a boy. It was music that I had always had a torrid love affair with. I felt I owed him, the music, or her, the song. I had to be honest with that relationship.’

On Twitter, Glenn thanked his fans and followers for their support and shared his newfound happiness.

“But all I can say right now is I'm the happiest lil weirdo i've been in my whole entire life. Thank you for the support and love,” Glenn wrote on Twitter, “Yes. I am a happy and healthy Mormon gay pop star. I don't know what it all means, but I'm ok with it.”

– Chelsea Regan

Read more: Tyler Glenn, Neon Trees, Music, LGBT

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