Mika, pop superstar of the early 2000s, has recently opened up about the homophobia he experienced at the hands of the music industry.
The “Grace Kelly” singer was known for his joyful, flamboyant, and exuberant sound, and the artwork associated with his music was bold, bright, and colorful. As such, reporters regularly harassed him about his sexuality.
The singer came out as gay in 2012, but he faced anti-gay remarks well before then.
Speaking with i news, the Beirut-born singer who grew up in Europe said he remembers Americans saying that they’d love to play his music but it was too gay.
“I think you wouldn’t be able to get away with some of those comments and articles today,” he said. “I was accused of being brazen, but I think it was brazen homophobia. I’m 39 years old now, the world’s moved on, so I’m not afraid to say it. And it was such a waste of time”.
Mika said he has become fully comfortable in his own skin, but it took time in the face of a world that at times sought to extinguish his flame.
“The industry was not one of the most kind or conducive places for making you at ease with your own identity or sexuality back then. My response was to assume the stage, find ways to tell my story, and find places that would be willing to hear it. It was not to compete, but to find my own space within which I could grow.”
And nowadays, he has no problem claiming space for himself.
“It always takes a while, but I’ve learned to be myself,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t change very much anymore. I’ve been this weird eccentric within my own kind of crafted pop world. And I’m going to stick with it.”