British queer media personality Shon Faye‘s Novara Media series Shon This Way has become some of the most enthralling viral queer content on the web, thanks to Faye’s intellectual yet accessible take on queer politics and identity. For her latest video, Faye sat down with Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander to chat about what it’s like being an openly gay man in pop music. The duo also tackle LGBTQ mental health (relating to Alexander’s BBC documentary Growing Up Gay), the politics of pop music and the deification of cisgender women by gay men.
Alexander’s commitment to presenting himself authentically from the beginning of his career—even if it meant possibly becoming a “professional gay”—is heartening in an industry where many celebrities are still living closeted lives. And Alexander makes an interesting point about how gay male sexuality is still stigmatized, even as white cisgender gay men are more conventionally “acceptable” than they ever have been. The entire video is a very important dialogue about the ways queer people are represented in media, and a great addition to Faye’s series.