Troye Sivan: actor, Youtuber, singer. And so much more.
The 20-year-old South African-born Australian is OUT magazine’s May 2016 cover star, and he spoke to Shana Naomi Krochmal about everything from his music (off his critically-acclaimed debut album Blue Neighborhood, released December 2015), coming out on Youtube in 2013, his fans and the LGBT community, and more.
Here are 13 things we learned from his interview:
1. He describes his sexuality as “fun.”
“Fun. Is that weird? Fun is how I feel. Fun is kissing boys and kissing girls sometimes. I can do whatever I want, and no one will bat an eyelid.”
2. He wants to keep his relationship status private.
“I feel like I share everything about myself, like everything. That’s the one thing – I should keep something to myself.”
3. And so no, he won’t reveal whether or not he’s dated fellow Youtube stars Tyler Oakley or Connor Franta (or both), even though he thanked his “beautiful boyfriend” in the notes of Blue Neighborhood.
“It was important to me to pay tribute to that person and thank that person because I think they were super instrumental to the process of making the album. I don’t think I could’ve done it without them. As far as defining that relationship and defining who that person is and everything…”
4. For him, breakups are “the worst thing in the world” and “so weird.”
“You care so much for that person and you become best friends, and then it seems so abrasive to me that people break up. That concept. The whole idea of it. As someone who is just starting to venture into romantic endeavors, that’s been a very strange thing I never thought about before. People get hurt, and that’s something I’m learning.”
5. He’s basically gotten everything he’s ever wanted after the success of his album in December.
“This is going to sound so gross and braggy. But I had just done [Jimmy] Fallon, I was on the cover of Rolling Stone Australia, and I had booked Ellen [Degeneres]. I was like, What the fuck? Anything else after this is a bonus. This is exactly what I’ve always wanted. And when I’m not in my own head about it, I have the best time.”
6. His fans make him so happy.
“I’ve been looking at people’s faces a lot more during a show, and it’s been getting me insane amounts of joy. I see kids closing their eyes and singing the lyrics, and I see kids with huge smiles on their faces, or I see kids that are on a date. I see kids who are proud of themselves and proud of me, and it just really makes me happy.”
7. He was a child actor.
8. He came out to his parents when he was 15, and three years later to the day, came out on his Youtube channel (which he started doing when he was 12) to about a half-million followers.
“This is not something that I’m ashamed of, and it’s not something that anyone should have to be ashamed of.”
That night, #WeAreProudOfYouTroye started trending worldwide.
9. He got an email by a record label who wanted to sign him after he wrote and posted to Youtube a song inspired by John Green‘s novel The Fault in Our Stars.
10. He boasts an incredibly huge social media following: 4 million YouTube subscribers, 3.6 million Twitter followers, and 3.6 million Instagram fans.
11. Most of his album Blue Neighborhood is “singing about boys” and one song in particular, “Heaven” (co-written with Jack Antonoff and Alex Hope), generates a strong fan reaction.
“Writing that song was very therapeutic to me at the time. It was me thinking about how hard I try to be a good person and then feeling like, before I even opened my eyes as a little baby—because I think I was born gay—I was a sinner. All of those are very standard, but very confusing and hurtful conversations that you have to have with yourself as an LGBTQ person.”
12. He recalls asking once at a live show, “Who’s LGBTQ up in here?” with emotion after half the audience put their hands up.
“That moment where you take on that responsibility and feel that empowerment, seeing that in a physical form looking back at me, singing those lyrics back at me was…It was a life-changing moment.”
13. He’s just so “20.”
“That’s pretty much it for me. I don’t even know what’s going on, so I don’t really want to put anything on paper. I’m just so…20. I’m never sure how to define anything in a magazine or in print. It seems very permanent.”