Jason Mraz revealed he is a member of the LGBTQ+ community in 2018, and announced earlier this year that he and wife Christina Carano had divorced
The “Have It All” singer, 46, spoke to GLAAD about the ways in which he’s learned to embrace his identity since publicly coming out in 2018, and also revealed the ways in which competing on Dancing with the Stars has helped him in his journey.
“I had to play out a lot of other scenarios before I arrived here. It’s both hard to do those and hard to unravel those, and what I’m basically describing is a divorce, you know?” he said. “And that’s very hard. You carry a lot of shame, guilt.”
Mraz married Christina Carano in 2015, and in 2018, revealed in an interview with Billboard that he’d had sexual experiences with men, even while dating Carano. He said at the time that while he’d questioned whether he was gay, Carano explained it as “two spirit,” a Native American term for someone who can love both men and women.
The Grammy-winning singer said he “really like[d] that” wording, though he announced in June that he and Carano have since divorced.
In his interview with GLAAD, Mraz — who was recently named to Out100, Out magazine’s annual compilation of the year’s most influential LGBTQ+ people — said that in learning to come to terms with himself, he felt a need to heal his past while still moving forward.
“You want to heal as many relationships of the past as possible and at the same time, step into this new acceptance and new identity or whatever I’m claiming, and that’s also hard,” he said. “So being on the Out100 is… It’s nice to be acknowledged.”
Mraz is currently competing on season 32 of Dancing With the Stars alongside partner Daniella Karagach, and said it was his dance-filled music video for “I Feel Like Dancing” that first caught the eye of the show’s producers.
The singer said he didn’t expect the experience to be as emotional as it has been, but that he’s been enjoying the ride.
“All day you’re looking at yourself in the mirror, and that can be hard for anybody, any human, to accept themselves looking in the mirror,” he explained. “On top of it, then my partner is asking me to move in ways that I’ve never moved before, and my reaction is, ‘I look silly.’ And then you break through that and it’s like, ‘OK, I feel kinda cool.’ And then it eventually becomes confidence, and so it is a journey.”
Mraz said he feels as though learning his dance routines each week is a metaphor for life, as sometimes you just wake up feeling “uncomfortable for no reason at all.”
“It happens to me all the time. And I have to figure out, like, accept myself, get back in my body, move through life in ways that I’m happy about, and so by the end of the day I feel accomplished and I feel happy to be me,” he said. “Dance is an amazing medium for that transformation and for that accepting of ones’ self.”
Mraz released his most recent album, Mystical Magical Rhythmical Radical Ride, in June. He told PEOPLE at the time that the record had come amid a difficult period in his life that saw the death of his stepfather and his mother’s cancer diagnosis.
"The album title is about life,” he said at the time. “Life's mystical, magical, rhythmical, radical ride. That's what life is. And I prefer to look at it that way because I wanna enjoy the ride."
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