When people across the world sang the Savage Garden song Affirmation, they didn’t know it was the soundtrack to Darren Hayes’ coming out.
Darren Hayes of Savage Garden has shared a beautiful and painful account of growing up gay in a society that didn’t accept his sexuality and the deep depression that comes with hiding who you are. He also talks about the happiness that he has found with his husband and his new life in LA – a lifetime away from his sad teenage years in Logan, south of Brisbane.
“You can’t control or choose your sexuality.”
I wrote that lyric 16 years ago when I was trying to tell the world that I was gay. It was from a song called ‘Affirmation’ and I still remember the moment when I performed it on the Jay Leno show, and on that particular line I looked toward the camera and winked. I wasn’t ready to do a sit down with Barbara Walters or have my ‘story’ on Us Weekly magazine. But I needed to let the people who loved me know that I was slowly starting to love and accept who I was.
I was born gay.
I’m not a scientist, but I think it’s pretty clear sexuality is a trait, not a choice, and no more or less significant that eye color or shoe size. But a trait perhaps with more in common with skin tone or race. A trait that has been used as means of discrimination and separation.
The Supreme Court ruling is a massive shift in human consciousness. Many people who take exception to a trait that I did not choose or decide upon, will feel slighted or maybe won’t understand why this is so significant to me and the millions like me. But let me put it to you in these terms. That trait was used to separate me, isolate me and make me feel outside life looking in for many many years.
When I was a little boy, I was innocent. My sexuality was emerging, like everyone’s does, through social behaviour. I would maybe sometimes want to play with the girls, or dress up their dolls. Once I was caught kissing the boy next door. Society told me in no uncertain terms, that was wrong. And the feeling was bad. A feeling of deep shame, of wrongdoing. A feeling that made me feel like I was a bad person.
I was a child.
I grew up, knowing that who I was, who I was born to be, was bad.
I grew up, knowing that the fairy tales were for everyone else. The Prince marries the Princess. He doesn’t marry the Prince, right? The happy ever after was for everyone else.