The lead singer of Neon Trees has come out as gay.
In an interview to be released Friday in the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone, Tyler Glenn, 30, revealed his sexual orientation and the conflicted emotions he had toward his Mormon faith, which resulted in years of repression.
"I had my crushes on guys throughout high school, but it was never an overwhelming thing until my 20s," the frontman revealed. "Then I'd be dating girls and in love with my straight friend and it was the worst feeling in the world."
"We were always taught, and I hate this word, 'tolerance,'" he said in reference to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s opposition to same-sex love both morally and politically. "The only time that felt different was when the Prop. 8 thing came up.”
Glenn began coming out privately to family and friends in October 2013 while writing music for the upcoming Neon Trees album Pop Psychology, which includes lyrics that speak about his experiences as a closeted gay man. He says his coming out was partly inspired by athletes like NFL hopeful Michael Sam, who recently came forward about his sexual orientation.
"I really love all of the sports figures that are coming out recently," he said. "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.'"