Jason Mraz explains why he didn’t come out sooner: ‘Being gay was like a punchline’

Jason Mraz

Singer Jason Mraz has explained why he avoided coming out, saying that being gay was like a ‘punchline’ when he was growing up.

“I’m Yours” singer Jason Mraz came out publicly as part of the LGBTQ+ community in 2018 via a poem for Billboard which included the line: “I am bi your side” – but he has now opened up on why he didn’t do so sooner.

Appearing on the Dinner’s On Me podcast opposite Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the crooner, 48, explained that he didn’t feel comfortable sharing his sexuality publicly due to the societal treatment of queer people.

“In the ’90s, being gay was like [the] punchline of a joke. and I didn’t want to be the punchline of a joke,” Mraz explained, adding that he opted to keep his “nose down” as a teenager instead.

Mraz was raised in Virginia, and the “Lucky” singer explained how growing up in the state – some parts of which are very conservative – influenced his upbringing.

“I still took with me the conservative street that I grew up on, and that was very hard to ignore or to break out of,” he told Tyler Ferguson.

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“I was very shy and and scared of what my family would say, or what my hometown would think or just whatever.”

He did, however, explain that his parents were “very supportive”.

The same year as his divorce from Christina Carano, the “I Won’t Give Up” singer announced that he was done “broadcasting as hetero” after doing so for the first “close to 20 years” of his career, telling Advocate:

“You know, [I was] saying ‘girl’ in my songs, and a lot of that is growing up on a conservative street. And growing up around homophobia and feeling like I needed to protect some secret.”

Mraz married Carano in 2015, but divorced in 2023; he has previously explained how Carano helped him accept his own sexuality before their split.

He also came out as Two Spirit in 2018, but was slammed for cultural appropriation.

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