Discovering one’s own sexuality is a difficult internal process. The turmoil and the distress of not understanding what is going on with you is a stressful experience. Most of us are brought up with a heteronormative mindset and an imposition of a gender binary. Which makes the process of self-acceptance that much more difficult. So when Coldplay’s Chris Martin spoke about being homophobic and worrying that he was gay, it resonated with millions.
Chris Martin is the lead singer and founder of the popular band, Coldplay. He is a Grammy winner too. In his interview with the Rolling Stones, he revealed the story of his struggles with sexuality.
Back in the Day
In the interview, he walked down memory lane and said he had “a rough time” finding a fit in school and underwent “terrible turmoil” when he was debating if he was gay.
And his train of thought could sound incredibly familiar to many people from the LGBT+ community. He said, “When I went to boarding school I walked a bit funny and I bounced a bit, and I was also very homophobic because I was like, ‘If I’m gay, I’m completely fucked for eternity’ and I was a kid discovering sexuality”.
How does one understand and identify the gay within? When do you know for sure you are gay? When you have a crush on a same-sex person? Or is it just a man-crush/woman crush?
“Maybe I’m gay, maybe I’m this, maybe I’m that, I can’t be this’ so I was terrified and then I walked a bit funny and I was in a boarding school with a bunch of quite hardcore kids who were also gone for their thing and, for a few years, they would very much say, ‘You’re definitely gay,’ in quite a full-on manner, quite aggressively telling me that and it was weird for me for a few years.”
And he then reached the inevitable conclusion of the times, “I don’t know [if I’m gay] and even if I am, I can’t be because it’s wrong… If I am, I can’t be.’”
There have been many cases of self-inflicted homophobia. An individual who thinks that there is a chance they are being homosexual but is taught that homosexuality is wrong is disappointed with themself. They think it is a problem that can be fixed with the right measures. The self-inflicted homophobia is so intense that they completely cut themselves off from being natural to their own being.
Luckily for Chris Martin, he did not go down too deep into that rabbit hole. The way he thought about homosexuality finally changed from how he perceived it as a 15-year-old. Martin looked to music for solace. According to Pink News, he engaged with a lot of classic soul, British shoegaze rock and cathedral music. And as he grew older, his fears about his sexuality began to recede.
It Is What It Is
He told the Rolling Stones“I don’t know what happened, I was like, ‘Yeah, so what?’ and then it all just stopped overnight,” he recalls. “It was very interesting. Once I was like, ‘Yeah, so what if I’m gay.” He added that he had “a bit more exposure to the world, thinking, ‘A lot of my heroes are gay,’ or whatever. Whatever they are, it doesn’t really matter.”
Martin finally breathed a sigh of understanding. But this also encouraged him to rethink his perception of religion. “So what that did was ease a big pressure and then made me question, ‘Hey maybe some of this stuff that I’m learning about God and everything – I’m not sure if I subscribe to all of this particular religion.’”
But it seems like Martin was also eventually able to come to terms with how religion and faith works as well. “So for a few years, that was a bit wobbly and then eventually I just was like, ‘OK, I think I have my own relationship with what I think God is and it’s not really any ‘one’ religion for me.’”
The Full Circle
Chris Martin’s realisation helped him come to terms with the fluidity of sexuality and viewing gender outside of gender binary. He is a straight man and identifies as such. And his story sheds light on how people understand what it means to be gay. Being effeminate, walking with a “bounce” or being told that you are gay, does not make you gay. And we are happy that Martin decided to address this and share his story. Chris Martin married Gwyneth Paltrow for thirteen years. From 2003 to 2016, the couple had two children, Moses, 13 and Apple, 15.
Coldplay’s release of their latest album Everday Life is right around the corner, and Martin’s confession has only given weight to the music they make.
https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/12/03/coldplay-chris-martin-homophobic-sexuality-boarding-school/ https://www.queerty.com/coldplays-chris-martin-opens-time-questioned-whether-gay-20191203 https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/chris-martin-coldplay-interview-jann-wenner-920912/