Tyler Glenn, the lead singer of the pop group Neon Trees, came out as gay in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.
"I've always felt like I'm an open book, and yet obviously I haven't been completely," Glenn, whose group is known for hits like "Animal" and "Everybody Talks," told the magazine.
Although Glenn says he knew he was gay since he was a child, he kept his sexuality secret for many years because of his Mormon religion's conservative views about homosexuality. "I had my crushes on guys throughout high school, but it was never an overwhelming thing until my twenties," he admits. "Then I'd be dating girls and in love with my straight friend and it was the worst feeling in the world."
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The singer says he started telling people in October 2013 as he was finishing penning songs for Neon Trees' third album, Pop Psychology. Many of the songs deal with Glenn's years in the closet. Glenn says he was also inspired by other public figures coming out despite the high stakes — particularly athletes. "I really love all of the sports figures that are coming out recently," he says. "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."
Glenn also tweeted about his revealing new interview on Monday. "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," he wrote.