Tevin Campbell has finally put speculations about his sexuality to rest. The “Can We Talk” crooner has opened up about identifying as a gay man. In a new interview on the PEOPLE Everyday podcast, he said, “What makes me happiest right now is how far I’ve come in life. You know, there are a lot of child stars that don’t make it. But a lot of us do … and the fact that I’ve embraced me.”
In addition, the singer also revealed that throughout his early years in the music industry, he never concealed his identity from those around him. “I didn’t hide anything about me. I didn’t try to act a certain way or anything,” he said.
“You just couldn’t be [gay] back then.” Tevin, who also has acting chops and spent six years performing in the Broadway musical ‘Hairspray’ beginning in 2004, credits that experience for much of his growth. “When I came out to my family and friends [at] about 19 or 20, that was it for me. And then I went on the road of discovering myself. I didn’t know who I was.”
The crooner also explained that he had never seen LGBTQ+ people that were living normal lives and had partners. “That was a great time in my life,” he added. During the conversation, Tevin brought up openly queer Black stars like Frank Ocean and Lil Nas X. “It wasn’t like that in the ’90s,” he says with a laugh. “But I’m glad I get to see it. I’m glad that’s changing. There are a lot of kids, especially young Black boys, that need to see representation.”
He adds, “They’re not being taught to love themselves because of who they are.” The news of Tevin identifying on Twitter has him trending, and many Black folks are saying they already knew. Either way, Congrats, Tevin, for living in your truth!