Though Shelley’s coming out was received warmly among fans, peers and casual observers, there are some (generally older) music industry insiders who actively discourage LGBT artists from revealing their identity.
“I’ve seen it happen to other people in the industry,” said Jaymi Hensley at this year’s National Student Pride, “and they’ve been told that you can’t come out, it’s not going to do well for your sales. I think I’m testament to say that it means bugger all, it doesn’t matter. I have just as much of a female fan base as my other three band members. I just like boys.”
He also revealed that a gay reporter had been “goading for George’s sexuality” for the last six months. “He was going for it, trying to get every piece of information: any guy he’s talked to, any girl he’s talked to. You’re making it like a witch hunt, like it’s something wrong.”
I’ve been reading a lot of speculation online as to whether I’m straight, or gay, or bi and it’s all these labels and it’s a little bit old fashioned, and this is why I’m not going to label it myself. It’s not something I feel I can label. I’ve had girlfriends, that I’ve loved and have been amazing periods of my life. But I’ve also had boyfriends. And I just want you to know that whether I choose to be with a girl next or a guy next it’s because I love them, and that it shouldn’t be a big deal.
George Shelley being unbelievably brave and comping out as being attracted to both men and women
Union J’s George Shelley comes out: ‘I’ve had girlfriends and boyfriends’
“I’m still me. I’m just a little bit less afraid of being myself.”
“What is important to me is that I can be myself” he says. “I don’t feel that I should hide it”.
“I’ve been reading a lot of speculation online about whether I’m
gay, or straight, or bi, and it’s all these labels; it’s a little bit
old-fashioned, and this is why I’m not going to label it myself, because
it’s not something I feel like I can.
“I’ve had girlfriends, that I’ve loved… but I’ve also had boyfriends.
“I just want to know that whether I decide to be with a boy or a girl
next, it’s because I love them, and it shouldn’t be a big deal. I don’t
want to make a big thing out of it when it happens, and I don’t want to
be scared anymore. I don’t want to feel like I can’t be myself because
I’m worried about what people might be saying about me, or the label
“I’m still the same person. I’m still me. I’m just a little bit less afraid of being myself.”