Jamaican singer Dalton Harris says coming out as pansexual last October was ‘freeing and empowering’ but unfortunately has come with more hate and death threats.
The 27-year-old musician opened up about the matter recently when he gave PRiDEJa Magazine inside access to his life. Having relocated to the UK since winning The X Factor in 2018, the interview sought to enlighten fans back home and those among Jamaica’s LGBT community about the artiste that is Dalton Harris.
In describing himself as a “not easily intimidated, advocate for human equality and respect”, Harris told the publication that coming out has been nothing short of exhilarating but he now has to endure discrimination too.
“I live more freely and happily now. I feel so much more empowered and just full of life. I can experience more healthy relationships as well. But also I now receive more death threats and hate than ever but it is how it is,” he said.
As the first Jamaican musician to publicly pronounce himself pansexual, Harris is hoping for a future where it will be less daunting for those wanting to follow his lead.
“Maybe one day in the future when another Jamaican artist or person is publicly pansexual or anything else in the LGBTQIA community they won’t have to face the same amount of abuse as I do now. I lost people that said they loved me but I’m happier. I was prepared for coming out, I have the power back now,” he continued.
Harris, who said he just wrapped up shooting a musical for Broadway HD called Closer Than Ever slated for release this September, said he is optimistic about recording music again when the pandemic subsides.
Living in the UK has allowed him to feel more accepted than in his home country of Jamaica.
“In the UK, being gay isn’t something that people react to as they do in Jamaica so I wouldn’t feel half as worthless as some Jamaicans go out of their way to make someone feel. I am sure my sexuality won’t matter,” he said.
Ultimately Harris shared that he wants to be an inspiration for LGBTQIA people across the Caribbean despite the many misconceptions.
“I hope to be inspiring people to not only see themselves in me but to be motivated to self-love and self-care in a way that allows them to live their lives to the fullest and most happiest and especially young black gay men and women in the Caribbean, whether they are out or not,” Harris said.
“I know a lot of time the world tries to intimidate and scares you into silence because they have this weird idea about what a gay man is. Being gay doesn’t mean I want to be a girl or is weak or want to be a man. People hear the term gay and immediately start to think sexually and that is weird that they do that. Gender identity and sexuality are two different things, and gender role is also up to the person to choose.”
I hope anyone that is gay and is reading this can believe that they are not less than and that they deserve love and to be valued and respected just like anyone else,” he continued.
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Though the Jamaican-born singer said he prefers to “keep his public and personal lives separate to protect the people he loves”, it hasn’t kept him from sharing touching moments with his Italian boo on TikTok last June.