During a recent video interview with Rolling Stone, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin opens up for the first time about struggling with his sexuality as a boy, homophobic bullying he experienced as a kid, and realizing he carried some homophobia of his own.
“When I went to boarding school, I walked a bit funny and I bounced a bit,” said Martin. “And I was also very homophobic, because I was like, ‘If I’m gay, I’m completely f*cked for eternity’ and I was a kid discovering sexuality.”
“‘Maybe I’m gay, maybe I’m this, maybe I’m that, I can’t be this,’ so I was terrified,” the 42-year-old added.
He described his classmates at boarding school in the UK as “a bunch of quite hardcore kids” saying “for a few years, they would very much say, ‘You’re definitely gay,’ in quite a full-on manner, quite aggressively telling me that – and it was weird for me for a few years.”
That “terrible turmoil” led Martin to discover his personal escape – music – especially “classic soul, British shoegaze rock and cathedral music” which would all ultimately find its way into the sound that is Coldplay.
And then, at the age of fifteen and a half, after reading about Elton John’s life and career, the anti-gay mindset “stopped overnight.”
“I don’t know what happened,” he told Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner. “I was like, ‘Yeah, so what?’ and then it all just stopped overnight. It was very interesting. Once I was like, ‘Yeah, so what if I’m gay.’”
“Just growing up a bit and having a bit more exposure to the world, thinking, ‘A lot of my heroes are gay’ or whatever,” he realized. “Whatever they are, it doesn’t really matter.”
Martin says that epiphany led him to consider other conflicting issues in his young life as well, including religion.
“[It] made me question, ‘Hey, maybe some of this stuff that I’m learning about God and everything — I’m not sure if I subscribe to all of this particular religion,’” he shares.
Describing his personal relationship with religion as “wobbly,” he eventually he settled on his “own relationship” with the concept of God, and realized “it’s not really any one religion for me.’”
The Rolling Stone sit-down is one of just a handful of interviews the singer is giving in support of Coldplay’s newly-released album, Everyday Life.
Check out the band’s latest music video, “Daddy,” below.