Lead singer of the post-hardcore band Senses Fail (and this editor’s high school crush) sat down for an extremely intimate interview with Ray Harkins on 100 Words Or Less Podcast. In the hour-and-a-half interview he opens up about his addictions, sexuality, self-destructive behavior, and his struggle with his own sexuality. Throughout the well-spoken discussion, Nielsen is remarkably self-aware of his past and his present-day life and his sexuality. He has opened up about his struggle figuring out where he fell (falls) on the scale of sexuality.
In a letter he writes:
I believe that a lot of what drove me to some of these addictions and behaviors was a mistrust and fear of my sexual orientation. I do not identify as straight or gay or Bi and that left me feeling very isolated and shameful. In many ways I felt that my sexuality was wrong, disruptive and needed to be secluded. I feel that if I had been more comfortable with who I was inside and more accepting of my sexuality I could have avoided a lot of suffering. A lot of my sexual addiction was fueled by want and need to experiment sexually but doing so in a container of shame and guilt left me stuck in dangerous self destructive behavior. Acting out sexually and then shaming myself for it, led to deeper stronger levels of self hatred…
We have made a lot of amazing strides towards LGBTQ rights in this country over the last few years, but I feel there is so much more that needs to be done. The safety net for people that fall into the LGBTQ world needs to grow, one way it can do that is for people like myself to have the courage to come out and truly be authentic with who they are and to demand that the conversation grow and continue to move forward. I want to encourage radical acceptance and radical inclusion on a level that far exceeds where we are at right now.