Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Neon Trees Frontman Credits Therapy

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Neon Trees Frontman Credits Therapy

Article excerpt

If you type "Neon Trees singer" into Google it will finish your search with either "comes out" or "gay."

Tyler Glenn didn't foresee it becoming a headline when he came out of the closet to Rolling Stone in a March interview talking about the band's new album, "Pop Psychology."

"I never planned it to be a big deal," he says in a phone interview. "I wanted to come out publicly because I wanted to be able to say to fans that come to the show, 'You're awesome and you can accept yourself for who you are.' I always said that, but now I was able to say that fully. And when I was able to do that in Rolling Stone, it made more sense because it was music-centered and we were able to talk about the record and I appreciated that. So I was surprised when it got picked up on a lot of other news and became a bigger deal than it was."

Perhaps what made it a bigger deal is that although Mr. Glenn is originally from a San Diego suburb, he and the band broke out of Provo, Utah, and all four are members of the Mormon church, which takes a strident stance against homosexuality. The singer was surprised, though, to receive messages from Mormon church leaders offering support.

"I'm really happy with the way it's turned out and I'm really happy with the opportunity I've gotten to talk about coming out and being religious, how it's OK and you can do both. And that's kind of my message these days, that it's OK to say you're figuring it out and it's OK to not have to choose one or the other. I think that's powerful for a lot of young kids who struggle like I struggled."

Although there have been a number of prominent rock stars who came out at one point or another in their careers - including Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Michael Stipe and Boy George - Mr. Glenn says, "I don't know a lot of frontmen in modern bands right now that are gay. I think for me, Laura Jane Grace in Against Me!, that was a really powerful story, but she transitioned and came out in a different way. For me, I think my message was that I'm gay and proud of it, but I'm also Mormon and I also have faith and I'm trying to figure that out and I'm part of a church that maybe doesn't always recognize their gay members, and I think that was a powerful statement, I guess. …

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