Michael Angelakos, the creative force behind Passion Pit, has come out as gay.
The indietronica tunesmith has publically opened up about his sexuality for the first time, during a nuanced and enlightening podcast interview with American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis.
Over the course of an hour-plus long conversation on Ellis’s B.E.E. program, Angelakos discussed his long-time struggles with his own sexual identity, explaining that he’d finally reached a point where he felt ready to be open and honest.
Prefacing the revelation with the words “I am saying something that I’ve never said before publicly”, the Passion Pit singer told Ellis (via Billboard):
“I’ve told very few people in my personal small circles because I don’t know how to talk about it, you know? Talking with you—we’ve talked before—when someone understands what you do and what you make, it disarms you a little bit and you can just be yourself because you don’t have to defend your work. … This is the kind of situation every artist wants to be in—to talk to artists they really admire. When this was all happening recently, finally, I just decided it might be best to talk about it here. I don’t really know what happened, but it’s just one of those gut feelings. It’s the same gut feeling I had when I said, OK, I kind of just need to talk to people about the fact that I am. I’m gay. And that’s it. It just has to happen. This was exactly the type of situation where I don’t feel like I’m being threatened.”
While Angelakos has been candid with fans about his struggles with bipolar disorder in the past, this is the first time he’s ever spoken about his sexuality:
“Specifically with my sexuality, it was just, unlike bipolar, ‘Don’t get help. Don’t talk to anyone,’” he said. “I lived in such a straight group of people. Not like anyone wasn’t going to be understanding, it was not the time.”
And after Ellis prompted the musician to clarify whether he was referring to the music scene or his days in college with that last statement, Angelakos replied: “Kind of both. This was dudes in bands talking about girls. It was just so easy at the time to talk about girls. I just kept writing about them…
“I was going through so many difficult issues with girls in general that when I started dating my wife she just quieted them so much so. She was such a good friend. It became kind of a non-issue.”
His (now ex) wife is stylist Kirsty Mucci, whom he also spoke about in depth during the revealing interview. On the subject of their marriage and divorce – and how he came to understand his sexuality in the process – Angelakos said:
“It’s always been about putting it off in my head – not consciously. When you’re teetering on the edge of heterosexuality or homosexuality and you don’t know what’s going on, it’s just so comfortable to keep coming back to what you know. That person’s not going to question you.
“I just wanted so badly to be straight, because I love her so much. I think that was one of the most painful things when we decided to separate.”
Angelakos also added that Mucci had been an “incredible” influence, and even encouraged him to come out earlier this year.
“When I decided to really deal with it head on — which was, I don’t know, in June — she was the one who spearheaded it in a way. … She said, ‘You need to figure out what’s going on with your sexuality because you can’t hate yourself anymore’,” he explained.
During the interview, which you can listen to below, Angelakos also described how Passion Pit’s music has been informed by all of these experiences.
Following the talk, he also posted a hopeful message from Passion Pit’s Twitter account:
Listen to the full interview in the player below (Angelakos addresses his sexuality at the 49:00 mark).
Meanwhile, Passion Pit fans in Australia are still holding their breath for a rescheduled tour announcement, after Angelakos was forced to cancel the act’s planned dates earlier this year because of health issues.
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Watch: Passion Pit – Lifted Up (1985)