'Happy Pride!'

Dance music artist Spencer Brown comes out as gay

 

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Dance producer Spencer Brown has revealed he is gay in a moving essay for Billboard. The piece was published yesterday, before the end of Pride Month.

San Francisco-based Brown first made a name for himself in the dance music community with the release of his debut Above and Beyond EP in 2014. Off the back of that, he toured the US with the late Avicii and became a regular fixture at festivals. Signed to Ajunbeats, he’s released two albums: 2018’s Illusion of Perfection and this year’s Stream of Consciousness.

He begins the essay by saying, “Imagine waking up daily with unshakable self-hate without knowing why. School starts in an hour; crippling anxiety keeps you under your sheets. You stumble into the bathroom and look in the mirror; you see a person you don’t understand. You drive to school; you drown your thoughts with the loudest music you own. You try to suppress your natural feelings and emotions; you tell yourself that love is an idiotic fairytale.

“This was my, and many others’, reality for over a decade, but I’ve learned that mornings don’t have to be that way.”

Related: Actor Ben Aldridge celebrates pride… by coming out!

He goes on to say that career-wise, he is living his dream. However, to really love himself, he also had to embrace his sexuality.

“I am gay. It’s so much easier to say today than it was even a few years ago. While I have never publicly denied this part of me, I have also never spoken out about it. I will no longer live in fear.”

 

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He says that as a teenager, he lived in Dallas, in a very “hetero-normative community.” He tried to persuade himself he was attracted to girls to fit in.

“My only solace became dance music. As a teenager, I would sneak into shows to be a part of a beautiful community where all races, genders, sexualities, and religions came together to celebrate life. It didn’t matter who you were, and it still doesn’t. As long as you bring good energy, you are welcome. It was where I belonged, and it’s still where I belong.”

He focussed on producing as a way of not having to deal with his feelings. When he could no longer deny his lack of sexual interest in girls, he decided he might be asexual. However, denying his true sexual feelings led to anxiety, panic attacks and self-hatred. He also developed OCD.

“When I was 20-years-old, my depression hit rock-bottom during a summer in Los Angeles. I vividly remember barely being able to get out of bed only to cry while looking at myself in the mirror. It crossed my mind for the first time. Am I gay? It can’t be. No way. My family will be devastated. I’ll lose my friends. I won’t have a future. I can’t have kids. What is the point of living?”

That was six years ago. He says it was a turning point for him. Around a year later, he began to nervously confide in close friends. When they all showed support, his self-hatred began to ease.

Related: ‘Hairspray’ actress Nikki Blonsky comes out just in time for pride

“I’ve transformed from a self-hating, anxiety-ridden boy to a self-loving, grateful man. I’m learning to transform my OCD into something more productive—like perfecting my mixdowns and sound design. I’m discovering ways to pass on the support I found in the dance music community, and I’m finding so much to be thankful for.”

On Instagram, Brown posted a link to the article, saying, “It was extremely heavy to be this publicly vulnerable, but I am hoping it will help just one person who is struggling, wherever you are in the world. Happy Pride 🏳️‍🌈! I’m surely proud to be gay.”

 

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