Though the statement was inspiring and triumphant, GRiZ highlights the emotional and mental struggles he went through in his youth coming to terms with his sexuality.
“I was in middle school when I first noticed something was up. For most guys, thoughts about girls went from “gross” to “I wonder what boobs feel like,” from “ew, koodies” to “let’s mack on some cuties.
But for me, I just wasn’t interested. I told myself I wasn’t ready, or that the right one hadn’t come along yet. So I waited. Years. And without warning, high school came in full force. Sex, drugs, alcohol, skipping classes, procrastination, attempting to fit in, driving (and crashing) cars, finding new music I related to, changing friend groups.You name it, I did it. AP physics in the morning, beer pong champion after midnight.
Everything seemed to balance except for one big thing. I was definitely…definitely gay, and I didn’t want to accept it or want anyone to know.”
The DJ also talks about the lack of role models when he was growing up and how that played into him hiding his sexual orientation during his adolescent, noting,
“There was so much pressure to fit in, I tried to force myself to be like everyone else. The last thing any teen wants is to be ‘uncool.’ Hell, the typical lingo for things that were lame was ‘gay’ and someone who wasn’t cool ‘fag’ or ‘faggot.’ Every day those words are so casually tossed into conversation as if it were true. And, I started to believe they were. There were no openly gay role models in culture for me to look up to at the time to dispel that myth.”
GRiZ’s coming out statement is ultimately crafted as a positive message to others, particularly to younger kids who may struggle themselves with the same problems he faced.
“If at this point you are telling yourself this sounds even mildly familiar, and you have so perfectly and with great pain kept your secret to yourself, I have one thing to tell you. It gets better.”