Words: Steve Brown
Jake Shears believes homophobia still exists in the music industry.
The former Scissor Sisters frontman came out at the age of 15 and has never shied away from living his true self and despite his sexuality never holding his career back, Shears believes homophobia is still rife in the music industry but isn’t as transparent as before.
When asked whether homophobia still exists in the music industry, Shears told Billboard: “Oh, I think it still exists.
“I don’t think you see it as nakedly, or transparently, as you once did. I do believe it’s still there, but I haven’t been involved with the major label world for a long time now.
“I think there’s a lot more queer music, by a much more diverse range of artists, but everything is so fragmented that everyone is seeing something different.”
Although queer artists are dominating the charts now with the likes of Lil Nas X, Sam Smith and Olly Alexander, when the Scissor Sisters emerged into the charts, their queerness was part of them but Shears said he was trying to make ‘really broad mainstream music’.
He continued: “When we were starting out, I was of course out and talked about it, but there were so many sort of celebratory aspects to our music -- about being queer, but also very much about the East Village at the time, all very New York-y.
“I mean, I was purposely trying to make really broad mainstream music and trying to make stuff that in its way was reaching across the lines.
“At the time I think there was much more of a ‘mainstream culture’.”