“This Doesn’t Bring Me Shame”: Singer Aaron Carter Tweets That He Is Attracted to Men and Women

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Hollywood—and much of the world—still has a problem shining the light of visibility on the broad spectrum of sexualities that exist. But active, positive identifications like Aaron Carter’s recent tweet can help change that.

Carter, who is 29 and the younger brother of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, enjoyed tween-oriented musical success in the ’90s. Now a grown man and coming off of a difficult summer—an arrest for possible intoxication and hospitalization for exhaustion—Carter appears keen to be truthful to himself and to his fans. In a note that he wrote and posted to Twitter, he said:

“To start off, I would like to say that I love each and EVERY ONE of my fans,” Carter began. “There’s something I’d like to say that I feel is important for myself and my identity that has been weighing on my chest for nearly half of my life. This doesn’t bring me shame, just a weight and burden I have held onto for a long time that I would like lifted off me. I grew up in this entertainment industry at a very young age and when I was around 13-years-old I started to find boys and girls attractive. There were years that went by that I thought about, but it wasn’t until I was 17-years-old, after a few relationships with girls, I had an experience with a male that I had an attraction to who I also worked with and grew up with. To me music has always been my temple. Music will ALWAYS be what transcends us and myself. The studio has always been my safe haven. But the ultimate goal for me is to be satisfied. I never want to be a figure of disappointment. The best quote to sum ‘I’ve never felt as though I didn’t belong, I just acted as though I did.’ —Boy George.”

Media coverage of Carter’s statement has been positive, and the Internet’s reaction was enthusiastic and encouraging.

Reading through the overwhelmingly heartfelt and excited responses to Carter’s tweet is the surest sign that while progress can feel glacially slow, the world is changing for the better in this regard. Recognition and acceptance of a wide range of sexuality is on the march—after all, millennials are the queerest generation yet.

While we may still be in a time where such an announcement makes the news (I hope one day it will simply be taken as a given that not everyone is default heterosexual until they announce otherwise), Carter’s statement is wonderfully matter-of-fact. He is clear that there is no shame in the identification for him, simply the weight of never having publically shared this essential truth. His acknowledgment of those truths and the cheerful reception that it evoked on the Internet means a lot to many in similar situations. Let’s keep shining that visibility light.

(via People, image: Shutterstock)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.