Actor-singer Olly Alexander has said he
harmed himself as a teenager because he didn't want to be gay.
Alexander, the lead singer of Years &
Years, stars in Russell T. Davies' upcoming AIDS drama It's A Sin.
Look: Russell T. Davies' AIDS drama, starring Olly Alexander, coming
to HBO Max.)
Warning: This article includes
descriptions that some readers may prefer to avoid.
Speaking with the Guardian,
Alexander, 30, said that he was once diagnosed with bulimia as a
teenager after being admitted to a hospital with an irregular
"You’re doing so much damage to
your organs,” he said. “I got taken into hospital once with my
mum because I had this irregular heartbeat, which can happen through
constant purging, and that really scared me. I thought I’d done
something irreparable to my body, and my mum was so distraught.”
“It's a bit dark. I used to write
that I really wanted to be skinny.”
“I was writing down: don't eat, don't
eat, don't eat.”
“It was something I could control. I
felt very out of control in the rest of my life. I was struggling
with my sexuality, my parents were divorcing, and I wanted to punish
“It was self-loathing. I didn't want
to be gay. I was convinced I was the reason my parents were splitting
“Bulimia carried on well into my 20s,
but it became less and less frequent.”
Alexander added that he also cut
himself during this period.
“A friend saw a plaster on my arm and
jokingly asked if I'd been cutting myself. After that, I was so
embarrassed that I mostly stopped doing it,” he said.
Alexander first revealed these
traumatic experiences in the 2017 BBC Three documentary Growing Up