Taylor Bennett Speaks Out On His Decision To Come Out On Twitter: 'I Wanted To Say Who I Was'
Everyone knows Lil' Chano, but more folks need to be up on his little brother!
Chance The Rapper has been at the forefront of Chicago's music scene for a few years now, and it's safe to say musical talent runs in the family!
His younger brother, Taylor Bennett, also has deep roots in the city's hip-hop community, winning acclaim for projects such as Broad Shoulders and Restoration of an American Idol. Bennett also has his own record label, Tay Bennett Entertainment.
Promoting his latest project, the EP Be Yourself, the 21-year-old spoke with Rolling Stone about the significance of productive communication and his experience coming out as bisexual.
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"I decided to come out before my 21st birthday because I felt like I was going to be a man and not just a man, a grown-ass man," Bennett said. "I had felt like I wanted to say who I was and I was so tired of listening to everybody else. It’s the one point of my life that I just decided to be myself."
At the time, many lauded the move as brave, but Bennett said he had doubts about coming out.
"When that tweet came out, a lot of people thought I was hacked," recalled Bennett. "For the first five to 10 minutes, I had the option to back out and the only reason I didn’t was that because the love and compassion from my fans. They let me know that I need to be that person for them. A lot of people spend their childhoods running away from who they are. It’s unfortunate but it takes a lot of us to get to be my age or even older, no matter what skin color you are or no matter what sexuality you are, to be like, 'This is a big world and I just live in it, but I can play a part in it, too.'"
When asked about any homophobic backlash he received, Bennett said he may not personally receive the vitriol, but he's hyper-aware of the culture.
"Personally, people might not say that to my face. But as a person, you know the thoughts they might be thinking, and that’s what I meant. Like, the gay kid in school every day that gets bullied, he might not always have to be called f*ggot, but sometimes he could just feel that walking to his locker," he said. "Sometimes you can just walk and feel like you don’t belong, and I know for a fact that there are people out there that have called me a f*ggot, that have called me gay, or whatever. They’re just words."
Overall, Bennett says the ignorance he has faced inspires him to foster more conversations about the LGBTQ community.
"But you know what, all of them saying all that sh*t about me stirs up? Conversation. And that’s what this project is about. You can’t combat dark with dark. We need to come together," he noted.
"Conversation is about spreading education, but we miss out on those conversations when we let these systematic oppressions like racism, homophobia or economic oppression take hold. We have to communicate. I believe that all these tyrants and bad things in the world are there to stop these conversations. What’s so cool about the project is that it’s B-Y-S, Be Yourself, but it’s really DIY: do it yourself," he said.
You can stream Be Yourself below!
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