Greta Van Fleet’s Josh Kiszka admits a “huge weight lifted” after he came out.
The 27-year-old frontman of the Grammy-winning rock band felt compelled to speak his truth and reveal his relationship with a man after a number of anti-LGBTQ+ laws were passed in his home state of Tennessee.
And opening up about making his sexuality public, Josh admitted it was a huge relief that the news was met with so much “respect” from their fans.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, the singer admitted he worried he would feel like he had “a target on my back”, but the response couldn’t have been more different.
He shared: “Everything had been met with love and acceptance and humility and respect, and that was a huge wave of reassurance that things are moving in the right direction. As a performer and as an entertainer, a huge weight was lifted. Because ultimately as an artist or just as a person, we all want to be understood to some degree.”
Last month, the ‘You’re the One’ group played in Nashville, Tennessee, and were amazed when fans managed to come up with a way to form an LGBTQ+ rainbow with small pieces of paper in front of their phones.
He said: “The fact that that many people could communicate and coordinate to make that happen was extraordinary.
“It was really difficult for me to keep it together.”
In his inspiring coming out statement, Josh wrote on Instagram: “Where I’ve settled a home in Tennessee, legislators are proposing bills that threaten the freedom of love. It’s imperative that I speak my truth for not only myself, but in hopes to change hearts, minds, and laws in Tennessee and beyond.
“The LGBTQ+ community is a cultural pillar, constantly championing positivity and acceptance through art, music, literature, film, and most importantly, legislation.
“The greatest mortal gift of all is our capacity to love and as we travel through time, may our greater understanding of the matter around and within us teach us to love ever deeper.”
Passed in February, the anti-drag bill – officially titled the Tennessee Senate Bill 3 – has since been blocked and is pending an appeal, but was to prohibit adult cabaret from performing on public property and other places where minors could be present, and it included “male or female impersonators” under the banner of “adult cabaret”.
Violators were to face a fine of up to $1,000, and up to two years in prison.
However, US District Judge Thomas Parker issued a temporary injunction after hearing from both sides of the argument and decided the bill was too vague, with the word drag not even mentioned.
The temporary injunction was changed to a permanent injunction on June 2, however, on June 30, Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti filed a Notice of Appeal.
Another bill in the state prohibits gender-affirming care for minors.