After years of avoiding questions on his sexuality, Kele Okereke, the lead singer of indie rock sensation Bloc Party, more or less came out in a January 2007 interview with The Guardian. The singer is notoriously shy and usually tries to avoid discussing his race or sexuality, as they "don't relate" to his music. But the British singer speaks more candidly in the Spring 2010 issue of BUTT, the critically-acclaimed Amsterdam-based 'zine. Okereke admits that he rarely discussed his sexuality in interviews because of his his "super-Catholic" Nigerian parents.
"My parents are super-Catholic and they come from a culture in Nigeria where there weren’t any visible gay people who were out and were happy. I left home when I was 20. My parents threw me out [for being gay]. Which I knew they would. We didn't speak for like a week. ... My parents are getting older and I didn’t like the idea that they could possibly die without knowing something that is a big part of my life. It’s not easy. ... We've been talking about it."
"I've been celibate for five months, which isn't that long, but it's the longest I've gone without sex. I just decided the next person I slept with, I wanted to be in love with, rather than feel nothing for them at all. I was becoming a bit desensitized to sex. It was starting to feel like another physical activity."
Okereke referred to himself "gay" but identifies as" queer" and adds that he wants "to remain open to experiences."
The singer adds the BUTT interview is an important step in his personal coming out process. "I’m always stopped by young, gay kids who say it’s really refreshing and encouraging to see someone like me being out in a relatively mainstream band.If I’d have had someone saying it’s okay to be you when I was a teenager, I’d probably be a very different person. That is why I’m doing this now, after years of not doing it. It’s good to show that gays come in all shapes and sizes."
Speaking of showing and size ... Okereke flashes his butt for BUTT. That photo AFTER THE JUMP ...
More in the magazine ...