Singer/songwriter Nicole Serrano, whose songs have been featured on hit shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Selling Sunset, is opening up about her sexuality after years of struggling in the closet!
Speaking to People on Thursday, Nicole revealed she is proud to be a 33-year-old lesbian no longer afraid of the ramifications of living her most authentic life:
“I just want to live my life. I just want to be happy. And in a way, I want to weed out the people who aren’t going to love me for who I am.”
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Already feeling like a weight has been lifted off her shoulders now that she accepts and love herself for all that she is, she added with a laugh:
“I’m a lot more enjoyable now because I don’t hate myself.”
Coming out has been particularly challenging for Nicole after growing up in a religious household and making a name for herself working alongside Christian music’s top artists including Chris Tomlin and Matt Maher. But she’s known she had a thing for girls since she was a kid, especially after having a gay awakening to The Little Mermaid’s Ariel. Nicole reflected:
“I just thought she was so cute. But even from an early age, I knew this crush was not normal. I knew I shouldn’t tell anybody. I knew I shouldn’t feel this way because nobody else feels this way. I just knew I shouldn’t talk about it.”
When she was 11 she finally told her mother that she thought she was gay, but that, unfortunately, didn’t turn out well:
“I went to a church that told us that homosexuality was a sin. [He] prayed over me and basically tried to pray the gay away.”
As you can imagine, that only made her feel worse:
“I honestly didn’t know what that big word meant, but I knew somehow that how I felt about my teammates, or my classmates wasn’t OK. I felt tormented. I wanted so bad to be a good kid, you know?”
Ugh. So heartbreaking. She continued to struggle with her sexual orientation in private for years to come, developing “shame” when she didn’t have anyone safe to speak to, noting:
“I always fell in love with my friends. I didn’t want to make them feel weird. But I would have sleepovers and I would be like, ‘Oops, I kissed my friend, or my friend kissed me.’ It was super suppressed and there was a lot of shame around it and there wasn’t anyone to really talk about it.”
In college, she continued to do everything she could to feel more “straight,” she revealed:
“I really believed that if I dressed straight and talked straight, no one would know. I dated every eligible bachelor that I ever met.”
But even dating the hottest guys she could find didn’t help! She added:
“I was dating really attractive men where I was like, ‘I’m definitely not straight if this isn’t working.’”
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By the time she turned 28, Nicole began to feel more hopeful that she could one day live out and proud. Much of that was due to the way the world was changing around her, especially as she began to see other queer people be welcomed into various churches. The singer noted:
“I eventually accepted myself, but it took a very long time. It’s been a long road filled with a lot of processing and a lot of religious trauma. But here I am.”
This long journey to accept herself is now being used as inspiration for her music. She just released a brand new track, Nice To Meet You, which she wrote after deciding to live truthfully:
“Songwriting has always been therapeutic. It’s how I work through my own life. Nice to Meet You is a song I wrote one morning when I woke up and said to myself, ‘I just don’t care anymore.’ I needed everyone to know. I really wrote it as part of my own healing.”
And while she didn’t think about this while writing the track, she’s now hopeful that her music can help others accept themselves and even come out to others:
“I have not even considered that this could be a song that somebody uses to come out with. That would be the honor of my life.”
So sweet! Hear the special song for yourself (below)!
So many people in the LGBTQ+ community can relate to this same struggle of coming out in a religious environment. We love how she’s sharing her story with others now that she’s finally confident in her skin. Reactions, Perezcious readers? Let us know (below)!