Electronic dance music artist, DJ, and producer Spencer Brown, real name Spencer Bruno, has come out as gay.

Brown, who was born in Los Gatos, California, came out in an op-ed published on Billboard.

Brown, 26, released his second studio album, Stream of Consciousness, in January. Illusion of Perfection, his debut album, was released in 2014.

In his essay, Brown said that he was coming out because he no longer wanted to “live in fear.”

“I am gay,” he wrote. “It’s so much easier to say today than it was even a few years ago. While I have never publicly denied this part of me, I have also never spoken out about it. I will no longer live in fear.”

Brown said that he grew up in “a heteronormative community” in Dallas and began to realize he was gay around puberty.

“Instead of taking girls on dates in high school, I focused most of my free time on my passion: producing. It was my escape from this girl-focused reality that excluded me. But after a while, I could no longer escape what was inside me. My inner self-hatred was growing, the anxiety attacks were getting more severe and the depression waves would smack me cataclysmically.”

Brown said that his OCD “amplified” his struggle.

“When I was 20-years-old, my depression hit rock-bottom during a summer in Los Angeles,” he said. “I vividly remember barely being able to get out of bed only to cry while looking at myself in the mirror. It crossed my mind for the first time. Am I gay? It can’t be. No way. My family will be devastated. I’ll lose my friends. I won’t have a future. I can’t have kids. What is the point of living?”

About a year later, Brown started coming out to friends and family.

“Each person I told, the support system strengthened. My gratitude deepened. The self-hate began to fade. The support cascaded,” he said.

“I’ve transformed from a self-hating, anxiety-ridden boy to a self-loving, grateful man. I’m learning to transform my OCD into something more productive – like perfecting my mixdowns and sound design. I’m discovering ways to pass on the support I found in the dance music community, and I’m finding so much to be thankful for. I learned to accept myself, and then I learned to love myself, and now I am blessed to be living my dream,” he concluded.