Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos has been vocal in the past about living and dealing with bipolar disorder, initiating much-needed discussions about mental health in America and around the world. Yesterday, he entered into another conversation, one about sexuality, on Bret Easton Ellis’ podcast, when he shared that he identifies as gay. Angelakos announced his divorce from wife Kristy Mucci on Facebook in August. Previously, the couple lived together in a historic apartment in Brooklyn Heights.
When news of their split broke this summer, People framed the story in sort of a negative way. As Angelakos reveals, it’s actually quite the opposite–his wife is one of the people that helped him embrace who he really is and encouraged him to live openly. He also talks about the drug issues that influenced Passion Pit’s debut full-length, Manners, and the way the narrative that their first-ever EP, Chunk Of Change, was written about his ex-girlfriend further stifled his ability to discuss his sexuality.
Here’s his perspective on wanting to avoid dealing with how he felt:
I was going through so many difficult issues with girls in general, that when I started dating my wife, she just quieted them so much so. She was such a good friend that it kind of became a non-issue. Like okay, I don’t have to think about it for now. It’s always been about putting it off in my head, not consciously. When you’re teetering on the edge of heterosexuality or homosexuality, and you don’t know what’s going on, it’s so much more comfortable to keep going back to what you know. Because that person is never going to have anything to say about it, and that person is never going to question you. I just didn’t want to deal with other people.
Ellis asks if he and Mucci ever discussed his sexuality:
From day one she knew I was bisexual. That’s something I’ve always said to people I’m very close with, and I would almost drop it in a way like “Please can we talk about it. Please.” But obviously everyone was like “Ok, fine.” And also probably thought it was bullshit. Regardless, at that time, I just wanted so badly to be straight. Because I love her, I love her so much. So I think that was one of the most painful things about when we decided to separate. She said “I don’t want anyone to think that this is your fault, because you’re gay. It’s not your fault.” And she was so sweet about it. When I decided to really deal with it, head on, which was in June, she was the one that kind of spearheaded it in a way. And then said you have to take it from here. But she said “Whatever happens right now — is whatever. But you have to figure out what’s going on with your sexuality. You can’t hate yourself anymore. You can’t be buying all these things that people are saying about you, these narratives. You have a very rich and interesting life, it can’t be condensed into an article. It’s not what a journalist says.” It’s pretty amazing, for what it’s worth, she’s really been one of the most incredible people.
It’s wonderful that Angelakos feels like he can finally talk about this now, but I look forward to the day when this is not a news story. A day when coming out isn’t a headline, because we let people openly discuss their sexuality before they’ve exhausted themselves by hiding their identity for years and years. Listen to the whole podcast here, it’s such a great, moving discussion.