Olly Alexander Says He Self-Harmed Because He 'Didn't Want To Be Gay'

Thu. January 21, 2021 8:18 AM by OnTopMag.com

Actor-singer Olly Alexander has said he harmed himself as a teenager because he didn't want to be gay.

Alexander, the lead singer of Years & Years, stars in Russell T. Davies' upcoming AIDS drama It's A Sin.

(Related: First Look: Russell T. Davies' AIDS drama, starring Olly Alexander, coming to HBO Max.)

Warning: This article includes descriptions that some readers may prefer to avoid.

Speaking with the Guardian, Alexander, 30, said that he was once diagnosed with bulimia as a teenager after being admitted to a hospital with an irregular heartbeat.

"You're doing so much damage to your organs," he said. "I got taken into hospital once with my mum because I had this irregular heartbeat, which can happen through constant purging, and that really scared me. I thought I'd done something irreparable to my body, and my mum was so distraught."

"It's a bit dark. I used to write that I really wanted to be skinny."

"I was writing down: don't eat, don't eat, don't eat."

"It was something I could control. I felt very out of control in the rest of my life. I was struggling with my sexuality, my parents were divorcing, and I wanted to punish myself."

"It was self-loathing. I didn't want to be gay. I was convinced I was the reason my parents were splitting up," he said.

"Bulimia carried on well into my 20s, but it became less and less frequent."

Alexander added that he also cut himself during this period.

"A friend saw a plaster on my arm and jokingly asked if I'd been cutting myself. After that, I was so embarrassed that I mostly stopped doing it," he said.

Alexander first revealed these traumatic experiences in the 2017 BBC Three documentary Growing Up Gay.

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