I’ll never forget waiting in line to enter Comerica Theater for a concert that was so much more than a concert. It was the culmination of years of heartbreak and self-discovery. Self-affirmation in public. It was finally being able to stand with a people that knew the importance of being yourself — fully and without shame.

I was waiting to see Troye Sivan perform for a crowd of the most wonderful and queer people I had ever seen. A lot of the people near me were young. Much younger than I was at the time (23). But I saw some older faces as well. There were rainbows everywhere. Seeing this crowd was inspiring. It gave me hope for a future where people don’t have to come out because we just are.

Going to concerts alone is one of my favorite things in the world. It’s a chance to just enjoy the music and performance without any distraction - even the good distractions that friends can be. And I needed to be alone for this. It was a lot for me to process. I had chosen to jump into something new and relatively unknown to me. I hadn’t come out to any of my close friends yet, and I wasn’t sure if they’d be able to handle all of the emotion that would course through me as Sivan finally played HEAVEN. A song that spoke to my soul (and the inspiration to the name of this blog). But why did it speak so much to me? Well, it was the way the words of this teenage boy (the experience from which Sivan writes the song) spoke about the tension between his sexuality and his understanding of heaven. An understanding that is taught to many in this country and brings pain to countless LGBTQ+ individuals.

I love this song not necessarily because I totally ever believed that being bisexual meant that I was going to hell, but because, to me, heaven was more than just what was waiting for me after death. It was the people that I worshiped with every Sunday at mass. It was the Church that shaped much of Western culture and sustained a community of people that was supposed to bring love wherever it went. That was my heaven and I had no idea if it would accept me after coming out.

All I wanted was to be affirmed by the faith that I came to in my youth. I know many people have been able to live out their sexuality and find peace in the Church, but that wasn’t me. That isn’t me. I’m not there yet. Not if it means losing a part of me. Sivan captures this so well in the chorus of HEAVEN.

Without losing a piece of me
How do I get to heaven?
Without changing a part of me
How do I get to heaven?
All my time is wasted
Feeling like my heart’s mistaken, oh
So if I’m losing a piece of me
Maybe I don’t want heaven?

Maybe I don’t want heaven? Because my sexuality isn’t bad. And it’s not worth losing.

If you care to know my story or the story of many queer individuals, give the song a listen. I’ve added it as a YouTube video at the end of this post, along with the full lyrics.

And if you’re open to talking about this without trying to evangelize me, let’s talk on Twitter or on Instagram

[Verse 1: Troye Sivan]
The truth runs wild
Like a tear down a cheek
Trying to save face, and daddy heart break
I’m lying through my teeth
This voice inside
Has been eating at me
Trying to replace the love that I fake
With what we both need
The truth runs wild
Like kids on concrete
Trying to sedate, my mind in its cage
And numb what I see

Awake, wide eyed
I’m screaming at me
Trying to keep faith and picture his face
Staring up at me

[Chorus: Troye Sivan]
Without losing a piece of me
How do I get to heaven?
Without changing a part of me
How do I get to heaven?
All my time is wasted
Feeling like my heart’s mistaken, oh
So if I’m losing a piece of me
Maybe I don’t want heaven?

[Verse 2: Betty Who]
The truth runs wild
Like the rain to the sea
Trying to set straight the lines that I trace
To find some relief
This voice inside
Has been eating at me
Trying to embrace the picture I paint
And colour me free

[Chorus]

[Bridge: Troye Sivan]
So I’m counting to fifteen
Counting to fifteen, counting to fifteen
So I’m counting to fifteen
Counting to fifteen, counting to fifteen
So I’m counting to fifteen
Counting to fifteen, counting to fifteen
So I’m counting to fifteen
Counting to fifteen, counting to fifteen

[Chorus]

[Outro: Troye Sivan]
The truth runs wild
Like a tear down a cheek

Source: Genius

— The Soundtrack To Coming Out is a series about the music that has formed my experience as a queer/bisexual person. Check back regularly if you’d like to hear more.