Op Ed: Brendon Urie, Pansexual and Proud; why it matters

“His label as pansexual gives trans and gender non-conforming people visibility. This is especially important as more people begin to question and identify outside of the gender binary.”

Prior to departing on the Pray for the Wicked tour, Panic! at the Disco aka Brendon Urie came out to the world as pansexual in a July 2018 Paper Magazine article.

To clarify what pansexual means, its love or attraction to people regardless of sex or gender identity. To quote Urie [from the interview] himself, “If a person is great, then a person is great.” His coming out is important, not only for the LGBTQ community, but an additional celebration of love and acceptance in the music industry.

During this interview Urie also went into depth about how the song “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” was written and became such a hit, a former bandmate’s rocky relationship, and how his first bar was a gay bar. He not only got in underage but had been getting hit on most of that evening.

Along with other out musicians such as, Tegan and Sara, Lynn Gunn of PVRIS, Hayley Kiyoko, Janelle Monae, Demi Lovato, Sam Smith and Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees – just to name a few — Urie adds to the growing list of celebrities and musicians who are beacons of light for LGBTQ fans. His label as pansexual gives trans and gender non-conforming people visibility. This is especially important as more people begin to question and identify outside of the gender binary.

Despite being married to a woman, speculation of Urie’s sexuality has been bubbling for a long time — the 2013 song “Girls/Girls/Boys” and furthered from his Broadway debut in Kinky Boots.

His Pray for the Wicked tour, which has fellow queer icon Hayley Kiyoko as a headliner, features “Girls/Girls/Boys” where he drapes a pride flag around his neck while he sings. He also does a nod to songstress Cyndi Lauper via a playful cover song.

While Urie has certainly pushed away the traditional masculine stereotypes, wearing eyeliner and being affectionate towards friends – in what he deemed as “stage gay” in the PAPER Magazine article – his coming out and being uniquely and unabashedly himself helps other people learn to embrace themselves.

As a queer person, having another musician whose concerts and music can be both safe spaces and safe havens is a wonderful thing. With so many issues and misconceptions in the mainstream about LGBTQ folk, having open and out influencers to combat these misconceptions while being role models for young people is beneficial. Furthermore, it helps people to come out and live authentic lives, when they are ready to do so.

Coming out is not an easy process, and to have fan and media speculation usurping your spotlight with “we knew” or “saw it coming,” takes away the validity of the process. As a long-time fan of Panic! at the Disco and of Urie’s wicked talent, it was so heartwarming to see him come out in his own time and in such a blasé way.

Urie furthered his support for the queer community, and other marginalized communities through his late-June foundation launch. The Highest Hopes Foundation is a funder for non-profits that are meant to help people and communities that face discrimination or abuse based on gender, race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. His decision to “spread love” through this foundation was influenced by the support that his fans give him daily according to the launch page on the Panic! at the Disco website.

Urie has already pledged one dollar of every ticket sold on the Pray for the Wicked Tour to the Highest Hopes Foundation. You can donate to the Highest Hopes Foundation at www.highesthopes.org or by texting “HOPES” to 50555.

Hope Winkles