Adult Contemporary

Moment of Pride: Savage Garden’s Darren Hayes says Pride means visibility, being “rid of shame”

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Music Video Still/Alex Hyner

From 1993 to 2001, Darren Hayes was the frontman for the chart-topping Australian pop duo Savage Garden, known for hits like “I Knew I Loved You” and “Truly Madly Deeply.” Today, he’s a solo artist and an out gay man who’s been married to his husband for 17 years. As Pride Month wraps up, he talks about what the word means to him.

He tells ABC Audio that “to be proud is to be completely rid of shame,” adding, “Having shame is such a dark cloud under which I spent so much of my young life.” 

Darren tackles that topic indirectly in his new single and video, “Poison Blood,” which details his and his family’s history of depression. He notes, “So much of my own struggle with mental health in the past centered around my own internalized shame around my sexuality as a young person…so I hope this song is a comfort for anyone who needs reminding they are not alone.”

Darren adds that shame can also be dispelled by representation.

“I look back on the beginning of my career when I was still coming to terms with my own sexuality, and I didn’t really have any role models or anyone that I felt like I could look up to,” he tells ABC Audio. “And today, I’m just so grateful that we live in a time where there are so many young performers, athletes, journalists, politicians, artists…who comfortably…live their truth in the public eye.”

“It’s that old adage: You have to see something in order to be able to be it,” he adds. “So that’s what Pride means to me. It’s about visibility. It’s about continuing to show up and be a voice, because no one knows when our rights can be taken away from us.”

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