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Missy Higgins Says The Constant Questioning Of Her Sexuality Was ‘Detrimental’ And ‘Traumatic’

The singer faced intense scrutiny throughout her career.

Missy Higgins was launched into our collective conscious in 2004, when she released her debut album The Sound of White at just 21-years old. Since then, she’s gone on to make three more albums and has won seven ARIA awards. Why then, is everyone so obsessed with her sexual orientation more than her successes?

Higgins appeared on Anh Do’s series Anh’s Brush With Fame this week, where she spoke about her struggles with defining her sexuality so early on due to pressures in the public sphere. The singer said she felt pressure to define herself as gay, even when she was unsure of how to define her own sexuality at the time.

“Everyone was speculating about my sexuality, which was such a personal thing, and such a thing I was grappling with,” she said. “All the journalists were trying to get an answer from me; they all wanted me to say I was gay and to come out loud and proud. But I was still figuring it out myself, and I felt so much pressure to put myself in a box and put a label on it.’”

Back in 2005, Higgins sent waves through the country when she spoke with Rolling Stone magazine, saying she felt that “everyone is a bit bisexual.” Since then, it seemed the entire world was intent on putting her in a box, waiting for the moment she’d eventually slip up so their collective suspicions could be confirmed.

“Every time I did an interview, I was in shutdown mode, because they were probing, trying to get me to slip up. Trying to get me to say a pronoun, you know? I’d be like, How do I describe what this song’s about without saying “she”?’ It was so traumatic, in a way. That became my persona,” she told Anh.  

Ultimately, the rumours became so vicious that they forced her to shut down and she retreated from the limelight almost entirely after her first album release in 2004. She re-entered the scene in 2007, feeling more comfortable with discussing her sexuality. That same year, she did an interview with Australian lesbian magazine Cherrie, where she confirmed she was fluid.

‘I think sexuality is a fluid thing and it’s becoming increasingly more acceptable to admit that you’re that way,” she told the publication.

missy higgins

Despite the struggles, Missy Higgins did find love in playwright Dan Lee. They welcomed their first child, Samuel, in 2015 and were married in 2016. In 2018, the singer gave birth to a daughter, Luna, and the family of four couldn’t be happier.

Nowadays, she is far more comfortable discussing her sexual journey, especially given that it’s more widely accepted and even celebrated now.

“Now it’s just really easy for me because I don’t really have anything to hide, and I think a lot of people are talking about it really openly these days which is so lovely, it’s really wonderful,” she said.

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