Shon Faye is joined by lead singer of pop group Years and Years, Olly Alexander, to discuss his experiences as an out gay man in pop music and the media, his recent BBC documentary about LGBT mental health, “Growing Up Gay”, queer icons, politics and representation.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Indeed, being openly gay in the mainstream media is still an issue. If it wasn't, many actors, singers, artists wouldn't try to hide their sexuality or even deny it.

  2. Type in Olly alexander then press the middle suggestion until it makes a sentence:

    "Olly alexander and the prince are a very handsome young couple"

    …. well that's a coincidence ??

  3. Just one last thing before I fuck off – but is the most important thing I could ever say in terms of transgender medical issues. Most medicine is based on the male biology – this is such an issue that many medicines are now finally being researched specifically for females such as pain killers or mental health that currently either don't work or are actually dangerous in either the doses prescribed or effect on female biology. I mean for fucks sake – how are transgender people suppose to trust a medical profession that doesn't even fully understand female fucking biology? It boggles the fucking mind. Seriously.

  4. I kind of just had to stop when he presented being Queer as a somewhat greater barrier then Beyonce making it

    Let's be clear in a capitalist music industry everyone needs money and luck but pitching identities like black and Queer and women in an Oppression Olympics isn't just trivialising it's demeaning.

    Yeah Beyoncé but if you're talking about beginnings let's not present hoops as
    A: homogenous – Queer people are not homogenous and do not face the same barriers
    B: "more difficult than a black woman"

  5. Men and women burn fat and sugars completely differently – such that men and women have to completely different eating habits in order to burn fat from exercising. This is something I didn't realise. What I did know though was that metabolism is effected by stress hormones such as cortisol and stress busting hormones such as oxytocin – and these hormones are influenced by activity in the Hypothalamus and Pituatory which is connected to the Bed Nuclues of the Stria Terminalis (where gender identity is supposed to be – I have actually researched that a lot and I am pretty confident in it). So it could be that having a female hypothalamus (INAH3) and Bed Nuclues of the Stria Terminalis (BSTc) works in a way that isn't compatible with a male metabolism – for example maybe having to put hormonal processes into effect that would normally only be used during chronic illness? If I find something interesting I'll try and leave a comment.

  6. As far as I've been able to figure out, Oxytocin is key to mental health – it's required for memory, muscle contractions, affective communication, R.E.M. sleep (and the handy orgasm). Oxytocin reduces Cortisol (a stress hormone that raises blood sugar levels – no relation to sugary foods then) – and differences in Oxytocin levels due to sex hormones is relevant (for example male's oxytocin levels respond better to exercise whereas women's oxytocin levels respond better to socialising… it's just a product of the inhibitory effect of testosterone on oxytocin levels and women have fewer oxytocin receptors in parts of the brain involving physical activity).

    Some mental health illness are just a function of biology, but preventable mental health illness such as depression and psychosis depression (and their mirrors 'mania') are intimately tied to stress – triggering increased dopamine in men particularly to cause psychosis and addictions and grey matter reductions (that if continue could lead to schizophrenia)… While in women parts of the brain such as insula cortex (relevant for emotions) start to shrink. Over time chronic mental illness can actually lead to brain damage.

    Relevant to LGBT are the amygdalae (patterns relevent to stress in the moment 'this side of the hill' – flight or fight/fend befriend and involved in sexuality) and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (fears and phobias relevant to future uncertainty 'the other side of the hill' – also involved in stress and reward and involved in social role identity) – these parts of the brain play a crucial role in stress-related mental illness anyway, so to have differences (i.e. masculine instead of feminine and vice versa) in these parts of the brain compared with cis-heteronormative people in society puts LGBT people at added risk – especially in a culture that we are all viewed as societal products in a society that can do no wrong that leads to discrimination of LGBT people.

    When I say male and female I am refering to binaries – people's brains are all different so the above should be viewed as two ends of a spectrum.

  7. I have a lot of dis-advantages but I feel blessed that I have been able to educate myself on mental health – it has given me a lot more confidence. It has taken me 3 years of research but I feel I have all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle now – from first intentions of just wanting to understand Gender Dysphoria after hearing Germaine Greer's view of Gender Identity from her outrageous comments in 2015… …To understanding Dysphoria itself. I have a handful more papers to read and could be better brushed up on anthropology, sociology and politics, but I have pretty much quelled any debate over the controversies. LOL – I'm coming for you "Silent Hill".

  8. "Being openly gay in the mainstream media" – Elton John, Freddy Mercury, Michael Stipe (REM), Boy George, George Michael, Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys), the B-52s, Ricky Martin, Adam Lambert, Scissor Sisters, Rufus Wainwright, Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Holly Johnson, Kelly Okereke, Mika – the list goes on and on. I really don't think being gay in "the mainstream music industry" is an issue anymore.

  9. This is embarrassing to admit because celebrity culture is quite bourgeois and I'm a revolutionary socialist but I saw that Olly was in the video and literally shrieked with glee.

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