The young singer is climbing the charts while demonstrating how his sexual orientation is both part of his art and beside the point.
He has been famous for more than a decade, albeit in far-off corners of the globe and the internet. He sang his way into YouTubing, YouTubed his way into acting, grew up on webcam (he came out on vlog at 18).
Online bravado covers up the more tender, nervous side of his teenage fan base: the young gay boys who come to his meet-and-greets and signings and cry.
“Sometimes they’re shaky when they come up and say hello,” Mr. Sivan said. “With this album, I’m trying to reach a wider audience than I have before. But then when I do a meet-and-greet like that, it makes me realize that’s not that important. No matter what, for whatever reason, this person standing in front of me who’s shaking and crying and I have connected. I see myself in them.”
Troye Sivan is not the first gay pop star, by a long measure. Gay men have been making, managing and influencing popular music and rock ’n’ roll since its birth, in ways both implicit and explicit. But whereas the mainstream gay pop stars of a generation ago, like Boy George and George Michael, began their careers closeted, Mr. Sivan has been out since before the beginning of his.
“The music industry in my eyes is still pretty homophobic,” said Mr. Smith, who came out publicly just before the release of his first album. “It’s a very difficult place for any L.G.B.T.Q. artist to come out and be supported.”
Mr. Sivan is a part of a wave, including Mr. Smith and Olly Alexander of Years & Years, whose outness is matter-of-fact. His songs are addressed to “him”; his music videos show him canoodling with men. (In one, fans identified his real-life boyfriend, the model Jacob Bixenman, whose face was never shown, by comparing birthmarks).
“It was just fearless,” said Brett McLaughlin, known professionally as Leland, and who is one of Mr. Sivan’s closest friends and songwriting collaborators. “There was not a question of ‘should we do this or shouldn’t we.’ It was more a question of ‘why wouldn’t we?’”
Troye Sivan has 11.8 MILLION followers on Instagram. Here is the LINK to his Instagram