The Coldplay frontman said he was bullied when his boarding school classmates assumed he was gay, leading to "terrible turmoil"

By Benjamin VanHoose
December 03, 2019 03:05 PM

Bouts with boarding school bullies led a young Chris Martin to rethink his religious outlook on sexuality.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the Coldplay frontman, 42, opened up about the “terrible turmoil” he faced as a teenager who was discovering his own sexuality while grappling with societal and religious pressures — as well as his own internalized homophobia.

“When I went to boarding school, I walked a bit funny and I bounced a bit, and I was also very homophobic because I was like, ‘If I’m gay, I’m completely f—ed for eternity,'” Martin said. “… And I was a kid, like, you know, discovering sexuality … ‘Maybe I’m gay, maybe I’m this, maybe I’m that, I can’t be this.’ I was terrified”

He added: “It can be brutal until you realize everyone is going through this.”

Martin recalled that his “hardcore” classmates, who he admits must’ve also been “going through their thing,” began to harass him on a daily basis.

“For a few years, they were very much like, ‘You’re definitely gay,’ in quite a full-on manner, quite aggressively telling me that,” he said. “It was weird for me for a few years.”

Coldplay's Chris Martin sings onstage during a special performance hosted by Live Nation to benefit MusiCares, a charity of The Recording Academy, at Live Nation Live on September 29, 2016 in Beverly Hills California
Chris Martin, 2016
| Credit: Frazer Harrison/WireImage

Martin — who shares two children with ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow and is currently dating actress Dakota Johnson — said being raised in a religious household led him to believe being gay was “wrong,” causing him to worry about his possible sexuality condemning him.

One day, as if out of nowhere, the British singer said his thoughts on the matter evolved.

“At about 15 and a half, I don’t know what happened, but I was like, ‘Yeah, so what?’ and then it all just stopped overnight,” he said. “It was very interesting.”

Splash Martin (1)
Chris Martin and Dakota Johnson
| Credit: Splash

Though he can’t pinpoint the exact reason why his viewpoints shifted, he attributes it to growing up and having more exposure to the world.

“A lot of my heroes are gay, or whatever they are — it doesn’t really matter,” he said he came to realize, pointing to his role models like Elton John. “So what that did was ease a big pressure.”

With his newfound acceptance and tolerance came a renewed interpretation of religion. Today he says he doesn’t fully subscribe to any one particular belief.

“It’s not really any one religion, for me,” he said. “… For me, god is everything and everybody and it’s love, it’s the miracle in every cell of every thing, and the vastness of the mystery. … It’s everybody, and everybody is precious and everything here as part of the grand design.”