entertainment

La Roux opens up about her sexuality: 'The gay community are dying for you to label yourself'

"If we have to state it, it’s almost like having to state that you’ve got a disease or something."

2020-02-06

La Roux has opened up about her sexuality, saying that while she identifies as gay, she rejects labels.

The 'Bulletproof' singer, real name Elly Jackson, told The Independent that while she's more comfortable discussing her sexuality that she was when she first burst onto the music scene at the end of the noughties, she believes "labelling yourself creates segregation".

Recalling her initial unease with talking about her sexuality interviews, despite having a girlfriend at the time, Jackson, 31, said: "I was 21 and I was like, ‘I’ve only just realised I’m in love with my best mate, can you f***ing chill out? Can you leave me alone?’

"I wasn’t ready to be on a pedestal of like, ‘I represent all gay people.’ I just wasn’t ready to say that."

The former Brit Award nominee, who's set to release her third studio album, Supervision, on Friday (7 February), continued: “People made out like I was really backwards about it, but if we have to state it, it’s almost like having to state that you’ve got a disease or something.

"I swear to God, labelling yourself creates segregation. It drives me mad. The gay community are dying for you to label yourself, and I’m so confused as to how they think that’s helpful.

"It’s where I’ll always have friction with some part of the gay community, even though I’m a f***ing gay person. How does that make any sense?"

During the same interview, it was put to La Roux - who has performed as a solo artist since the departure of former bandmate Ben Langmaid in 2012 - that being more open about her sexuality may have provided a source of inspiration for young LGBTQ people struggling with their own identities. 

Jackson replied: “I guess, it took me so long to identify as gay, but it wasn’t a hard transition for me. It was like, ‘Oh, I’m in love and they love me back.’ So I was never looking for somebody else that was talking about being gay.

"But I can properly understand, especially if you knew you were gay from the age of 12 or 13, that by the time you were 16 you’d be like, ‘I need to f***ing read about some gay people.’

"But everybody knows what I am. It’s not like it’s hidden. It’s not like everybody thinks I’m your average straight girl. I just don’t see the point of a label.

"I’m called Elly. My name is fine. Thank you."

The singer went on: "Obviously now I’ve realised, ‘God you were a bit weird about it. You definitely were a bit weird about it'. It’s not a f***ing big deal. And maybe it’s easier to talk about now because it is 10 years later.

"You can’t take that for granted. ‘Why do I feel so much more comfortable talking about this now?’ Well, you’ve been through s*** loads and everything’s moved on in a really big way."