But Sivan, who came out in a 2013 YouTube video that has been viewed more than 7 million times, is set to tackle a different, more troubling aspect of the LGBTQ experience when he returns to the big screen this fall.
The star will appear in the film adaptation of Garrard Conley’s memoir, “Boy Erased.” The movie, which hits theaters in September, follows a teenage Conley (Lucas Hedges), who is sent to an ex-gay “conversion” therapy camp by his fundamentalist Christian parents (Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe).
“It was a heavy shoot. The subject matter was pretty intense, obviously,” Sivan, who plays Gary, one of the teens in the camp, told The Herald Sun of the experience. “I was going to the camp every day for 14 hours a day, for a month. I’d hear this rhetoric of intolerance and seeing such talented actors bring them to life really made it feel very real.”
Noting that he was “was happy to get out of there at the end,” Sivan added, “I think it’s going to be a very special and important movie.”
In the meantime, Sivan is heavily focused on his music. Last month, he dropped “My My My!,” the first single from his second album, due this spring. Pitchfork called it “one of the first great songs of ,” and NPR said its accompanying video “cemented his image as a gay pop icon.”
After Sivan performed “My My My!” on “Saturday Night Live” Jan. 20, he was praised by former Savage Garden singer Darren Hayes.
Hayes, who came out as gay after Savage Garden split in 2001, wrote:
Sivan said he aimed to portray the LGBTQ experience in a nuanced way in the “My My My!” video, which was directed by Grant Singer.
“The thing that was most important for me was that it was communicating a young gay person enjoying themselves ... letting them be exactly how they want to be,” he said. “I hoped that in its own right would be something that would push things along.”
He continued: “I want to make people feel as comfortable as they possibly can be within themselves. That’s been a process for me. The more that I can do it for myself and share that with the world, the better.”