Jason Mraz says he hid his bisexuality so he wouldn't be 'punchline of a joke'

The singer-songwriter and "Dancing With the Stars" competitor opened up to Jesse Tyler Ferguson about his coming-out journey.

Singer-songwriter Jason Mraz has opened up about his own relationship to his bisexuality, years after he first revealed in 2018 that he's a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

The Dancing With the Stars competitor spoke about his personal journey on a recent episode of Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson's Dinner's on Me podcast, after the actor asked when the Grammy-winning performer knew he wasn't straight.

Mraz told Ferguson that he "grew up on a very conservative street" in Virginia, where his high school mascot was a confederate symbol, and that he "didn't really have too many sexual experiences in high school" because he was a reserved, shy student who was regularly bullied.

Even after he moved to New York City as an adult, the "I Won't Give Up" singer said he "didn't have a whole lot of confidence" in his romantic capabilities as a bisexual.

"Skinny, scrawny, 18-year-old kid in New York, I don't even know what to flirt with, who to flirt with, how to flirt. The romance in my songs was just copying other romance in songs, like, these are things that you sing about to please others," the 47-year-old continued.

"It wouldn't be until I got to California that I met a community of people that would see me in a new way, that I'd never fully been seen before, and I liked how I was being seen and heard," he said. "At the same time, still took with me the conservative street that I grew up on, and that was hard to ignore or break out of. I was very shy and scared of what my family would say or what my hometown would think."

<p>Jason Mendez/Getty</p> Jason Mraz

Jason Mendez/Getty

Jason Mraz

Mraz stressed that he currently has supportive parents, but told Ferguson that he didn't want to be mocked for his sexuality as a young adult.

"In the '90s, being gay was the punchline of a joke, and I didn't want to be the punchline of a joke, and kept my nose down and figured out ways I could instead get out and see the world one day," he recalled. "I've been enjoying it, and even have been a late bloomer to where I am now, honestly I feel like my life is just starting. It wasn't until you really found love that it really bloomed."

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Related: Jason Mraz told friends to 'vote for someone else' on Dancing with the Stars so he could go home to his cat

While Mraz was previously married to Sheridan Edley from 2001 to 2002 and to Christina Carano in 2015 to 2023, he noted that he hasn't "found love yet," but that he feels "so much love" for himself. "That can only enhance the next relationship or a relationship when I find one," he finished.

Entertainment Weekly has reached out to representatives for Mraz for comment.

In addition to finishing Dancing With the Stars season 32 in second place in 2023, Mraz has released eight studio albums and three top 40 singles throughout his career, including his signature 2008 single "I'm Yours." He also won one of two Grammy awards for "Lucky," his 2009 collaboration with Colbie Caillat.

Listen to Mraz discuss his sexuality with Ferguson in the podcast episode above.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.