At just 22, Troye Sivan has cemented himself as a force to be reckoned with in the pop industry. My My My! – the debut single from his second album – hit 20 million views, he appeared on Saturday Night Live, and, perhaps most monumentally, he became the youngest person ever to receive the Stephen F. Kolzak award, which celebrates those in the entertainment industry who campaign for equality. ASOS Magazine sat down with the star to see how he's handling it all…
STYLE AND CULTURE
TROYE SIVAN'S STYLE FILE
By Francesca Babb, 18 May 2018
How does it feel to be an advocate for the queer community?
I take it really seriously, but a part of taking it seriously is acknowledging there are times I need to shut up and let other people speak. One of the big issues is that the queer community is so limited in the people that represent it publicly. I am one of the faces of a community of thousands and thousands of other faces across the world that should be seen and should be heard. As soon as you start trying to speak for everyone, you can overstep your boundary, so I try to create space for other voices. To be loud in projecting the stories of other people who don’t have that same opportunity that maybe you do.
That was the moment I realised my parents had not only accepted who I was but were ready to celebrate it. It was a beautiful moment. Pride is a symbol of such resilience. To take things that have been shrouded in shame for so long, like affection and flamboyance, things that we were all told to keep private and curb as much as you possibly could. To put those on the most loud, public display possible, in the streets, with music and glitter and Speedos, today in the face of all of that criticism and censorship, is a valuable way to reset boundaries.
You believe that it’s important to create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ kids…
A lot of people still see the LGBTQ experience as a very sexualised one, and it’s not. It’s about so much more, it’s about gender identity and falling in love with people and having an innocent crush at 14... Where do you explore that? I wanted to make a space where you can be 14, come to my show and see people dressing how they want to dress, wearing whatever makeup they want to wear, and on a date with whoever they want to be on a date with, in a space that doesn’t necessarily have to feel adult.
You’re in a new film, Boy Erased, which explores gay conversion therapy. What did you take away from the experience?
I left that situation with a lot more empathy than I thought I would. It 100% is not the right way and the practices, rhetoric and consequences are unbelievably harmful, but people legitimately think that your child coming out is a death sentence for that kid and that they’re going to get HIV and die and go to hell. They’ve grown up not knowing any different, and your church, the body that you trust the most, comes to you and says, 'We’ve got a way that fixes this.' I place the blame less on the parents than I thought I would, and I’m hoping that they’re the people who watch this movie. Most of the kids who are in these camps are not there by choice. I hope some parent is like, ‘Ooh, new Nicole Kidman movie,’ and chucks it on and learns a thing or two.
The 11 January was probably one of the best days of my life. It was the day after the song had come out and I woke up, checked my phone and saw so much love. Then I had SNL after that, and then Ellen. Last year was a lot of getting my ducks in a row – I’d write a song I was really excited about, then we found out about my Valentino campaign, then we found out about Boy Erased, so all these things were lining up and then January was ‘bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.’