Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander says his sex education at school was so bad, he had “no idea how gay people had sex”.
“I didn’t understand how men had sex with men,” the singer told crowds at LGBT student event, National Student Pride, over the weekend. “Gay people didn’t exist in my sex education.”
Speaking on a Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) panel at the event calling for LGBT-inclusive lessons, Alexander revealed how the teacher charged with giving him and his classmates lessons about sex was actually a virgin.
“He told us the best way to have safe sex was to not have sex at all,” Alexander said, of the teacher who had earlier explained that he was a virgin.
“So, for a start, I’m getting a sex ed class from a guy who has never had sex - it’s not going to be that helpful.”
According to the 26-year-old, the lessons, which portrayed LGBT sex as “dirty and hidden away”, left him vulnerable.
“I had a couple of experiences with older guys too that I think, looking back, I realise I was taken advantage of.
“But at the time, I was desperate for something, for some attention, for some kind of education, whatever it was.”
Speaking alongside panellists including MP Stella Creasy and trans activist Paris Lees, Alexander continued: “I had quite huge anxiety about getting HIV or getting an STD. I don’t know where that came from actually... I think I thought any kind of sex was going to kill me or something.
“I didn’t have a positive relationship with sex and I think that’s maybe why I was quite anxious about things. I didn’t have the proper eduction about what it’s about.”
As part of the three-day-long event encouraging young people to talk about sex, the pop star and his fellow speakers called on the government to introduce compulsory, LGBT-inclusive sex education.
According to sexual health charity the Terrence Higgins Trust, 95% of young people receive no lessons about LGBT sex and relationships.
“I wish there had been a place [at school] you could just even talk about being gay or talk about what it might be like not to be straight,” Alexander added.