Good for Sanjaya, living his truth and calling out the haters.
In 2006, Sanjaya Malakar was a household name in the United States of America. He appeared on the sixth season of American Idol. That’s back when the show was not just relevant but must watch television. And now, the former teen singer is sharing that he identifies as bisexual.
Sanjaya Malakar shared this fact while on The Adam Sank Show podcast. In the latest podcast episode, which dropped on Monday, Malakar says that he always knew he was somewhere on the right side of the Kinsey scale, but “at the time of American Idol, I had a serious long-term girlfriend.”
Unfortunately for the 17-year-old, his sexuality became a topic of rumor and speculation. Many assumed that Sanjaya was gay. This led to him saying in 2009, “I don’t like guys.” While on season two of the U.S. version of the reality show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, Sajaya said he believes people question his sexuality because of how he grew up.
“I’m not like that classic, stereotypical macho guy that’s like, ‘Oh yeah! Oh, she’s hot. I wanna get in her pants!'” he said at the time, via NBC Miami. “I’m not that kind of guy. I was raised by women so I kind of have a connection with my feminine side, but I’m attracted to women so it’s like, people like to kind of throw that at me, like, ‘Oh, you must be gay’ but I’m like, ‘Whatever, gay people are awesome.'”
But now, in 2022, the 32-year-old says that media speculation and advice from Hollywood experts kept him in the closet.
“Okay, well, now I have to say ‘no,’ because at this point, they’re forcing me to make a decision until I define myself,” he said about the rumors on his sexuality.
“It’s like, all of my publicists, they’re like, ‘Oh, just tell everyone you’re single, be ambiguous,’ you know?” he continued. “‘No one needs to know anything about anything because you don’t want to lose your fans.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, but why am I manipulating what I know myself? To figure out what kind of fans I’m gonna get? Because I’m still trying to discover who I am.”
“Because I grew up in a time when being called fa***t in school was the worst thing that could ever happen to you,” he adds.
While Sanjaya, who’s now a pastry chef in Montana, hasn’t come out to his parents, he says he doesn’t care what other people have to say about his sexuality anymore.
“At this point, I don’t care what people know of my sexuality,” Sanjaya confirmed. “If I got into a serious, long-term relationship with a guy, I would bring him to my family, and they would be like, ‘Oh, cool.’”