As told to Amy Sciarretto
There I was, 14 years old, watching the remake of the movie Freaky Friday with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan. I didn't know which one I wanted more: an electric guitar or Lindsay Lohan (pre-drug meltdowns, keep in mind). I immediately asked for an electric guitar for Christmas and lo and behold, Santa delivered. I taught myself how to play "Jingle Bells" the very first day and in that same breath my dad taught me a life lesson: "A great musician knows when NOT to play their instrument."
Needless to say, I had a long road ahead of me to get to where I am today both musically and emotionally. Word got around that I played guitar — how could it not with all my professional MySpace selfies — and I was asked to join Love, Robot as a guitarist.
It seems hard to believe that I have been in the same band for eight years. Love, Robot grew up with me. Everything I went through, I wrote down and turned into a song. Music has always been my only outlet; I've never done drugs or smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol. I'm 23 years sober. Sobriety is hard to handle, especially when I started to feel like being myself wasn't acceptable in my own home.
I remember starting to question my sexuality when I was 15 and I met a girl who helped me explore those feelings. I didn't have anyone to ask for help with this situation. I felt pretty alone, so naturally, my first instinct was to grab my journal and start writing.
I have books filled with thoughts about her and my confusion and anxiety about it all, terrified of my family finding out that I wasn't "normal." I started to feel comfortable enough to tell a few close friends and my bandmates, who all took the news extremely well. I remember changing my "interested in" status on Facebook to both men and women when I was in high school and feeling such a sense of empowerment. Granted, I wasn't out to my parents or my extended family then, but all my friends knew and so did my three siblings.
As I got older and the band started to move from hobby to a more serious level, I realized that people were listening. There were people in the world that were calling themselves fans of my music and my words. People started messaging me on various social media sites telling me that my words were helping them through their own personal issues.
Fans started asking me about coming out and about my experience, telling me that I was so brave for being out and that I am a role model. I have to admit, being out and proud is still not as comfortable as it should be in my home at age 23 — and there have been some serious fights under my roof regarding my "choice" to date women.
But I'm proud to say I've made it to a very good place.
These are the things that L,R fans struggling with their own sexualities want to hear; They want to know how I keep myself from turning to dangerous, unhealthy habits to deal with the pain and fear of being rejected by the people who are supposed to love you unconditionally.
We have a music video out for a song off our upcoming album called "Fire Escape", which depicts me in a relationship with another girl. This video is not to make a statement but to visualize a long-distance relationship — my long-distance relationship. I wanted to make a music video that stayed true to my life, so why would I have used a heterosexual couple to portray the story?
My music is an extension of who I am, and I plan to stay true to that the best I know how. Love conquers fear, every time.
Love, Robot are releasing B.A.D. on June 24. Learn more about them here.
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PHOTO: Love, Robot