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John Grant on coming out: ‘Gay scene was brutal’

By Nick Levine


John Grant has spoken about his experiences on the gay scene in Denver in his native Colorado after he came out in the mid-90s.

The acclaimed singer-songwriter, who won Attitude‘s Man of the Year award last year, sings lead vocals on two songs from the new album by disco collective Hercules and Love Affair – and he spoke candidly about his post-coming out disappointment in a joint interview with the band’s leader Andy Butler published in The Guardian today (May 24).

Grant said:

“When I came out, I found I hadn’t been born with the right genes. It’s quite brutal. If you’re beautiful and you have the right genes, then the gay scene is a place where you can be worshipped. But if you don’t, it’s a different ball of wax. I sort of have a lot of anger around that because coming out was tough enough, dealing with the people that hated you because you were gay… to then go into the gay scene and realise that it’s even worse there, that was, well, f*cked.”

“It’s mean,” Butler added after Grant’s comments. “I feel like finding the perfect boyfriend, finding true love, for me this is the big thing in my life, finding someone to embrace me for who I am. I still look in the mirror and see an awkward, ginger, unattractive, feminine queer.”

Hercules and Love Affair’s new album, The Feast of the Broken Heart, featuring two songs sung by John Grant, is released on Monday (May 26). Check back on tomorrow (May 25) for our own interview with Andy Butler.

In the meantime, you can watch John Grant’s acceptance speech from last year’s Attitude awards below: