MY GAY LIFE
Name Alfie Arcuri Age 29 Occupation Singer, winner of The Voice Australia
When I first knew...
The moment I realised that there was something different about me was when I had first hit puberty, age 11. I was at my parents’ holiday house and I remember going to the showers at the beach and being strangely attracted to the men – and I found myself continuously and curiously going back and noticing men’s physiques more. From this point on I spent every day for the next 13 years trying to suppress these thoughts, until I finally came out at 24.
My coming out moment… The first person I came out to my best friend Elise. She thought I was going to tell her that I was in love with her, but to her surprise she instead had a new best gay friend, which was her dream come true. It was such a relief once I finally told her. After that, it was like a domino effect. I told my sisters who told my parents and then in true Italian style it was shared to the rest of my family.
The campest thing I’ve ever done… Probably auditioning for The Voice! I thought it was my way in with Ricky Martin. As my luck would have it, the year I audition he decides not to be a coach on the show. Recently the most camp thing is probably my obsession with watching RuPaul’s Drag Race marathons.
My first gay club/pub… This happened when I was about 21 and still not out – someone I met on [hook-up site] Manhunt convinced me to come out with them to a place in Sydney called ARQ. When we got there I felt so insecure because I was worried someone would recognise me. But we started dancing and all my fears went away. I had such an amazing time because, for the first time ever, I was with other people just like me and I felt so free!
My first gay kiss… Ahh, this was with a boy I met on Yahoo Chat. I was 18 at the time and felt so terrible afterwards like, I’d done something so wrong!
When I lost my virginity… It was with that same guy from Yahoo Chat – every time I was with him I’d rush home afterwards and shower because I felt like I was doing something bad! I look back on it now and wonder why I felt so afraid. What being gay means to me now… For so long I felt like I had to try and ‘fix’ myself for being gay because it wasn’t ‘normal’, but it hit me a few years ago when I realised being gay actually makes me Alfie – I wouldn’t be who I am and I wouldn’t be able to love people the way I do, or feel the way I do, or empathise with people the way I do, if I wasn’t gay. I definitely wouldn’t be singing or writing music.
My gay record would be… It’d be my own record! All of my songs are about my experiences with men and growing up gay! People have said to me recently,
“Aren’t you worried about alienating people when you sing about guys?” And my response is always, “Well, I was alienated growing up listening to songs about heterosexual relationships.” I believe if music is good and honest, people will connect regardless. Love is love, so if you’re straight or gay you will be able to connect with the emotions I feel and write about in my songs. Favourite drink... Hendricks gin and tonic with fresh cucumber.
My biggest crush is…
The first person that comes to mind is Chris Hemsworth, but I also have one on Sam Smith. I saw him live in Sydney a few years ago – he has some real swagger on stage, and that voice!
The gay film you must watch is… Holding the Man. The story actually reminded me a lot of my first relationship, which is also what the first song I wrote after winning The Voice is about – If They Only Knew. On a Sunday afternoon you’ll find me... At The Beresford in Sydney or at home watching Drag Race. What advice I’d give my teenage self… I’d say, “Just do your thing Alf, your difference makes you special. One day it will all make sense and you’ll be able to tell your story in the most incredible way!”
My thoughts on love and marriage… Marriage isn’t something I often think about, probably because I haven’t been in love for quite some time. If I met the right person this would change. I know that some of the gay couples in my life would love to have the same legal rights as my straight friends. I hope this changes in Australia.! The TV show that changed my gay world… Queer as Folk. I’d watch this as a teenager on mute because I was worried that if I learned the characters names, it would make me more gay. I should have a binge watch of Queer as
Folk now that I don’t have anything to hide! Oh, and the show that changed my adult gay world would be Drag Race – so good!
My gay hero is... Ellen DeGeneres. For as long as I can remember, she’s been strong, kind hearted and spreads such powerful messages to the world about acceptance and equality!
ABOVE ALFIE’S DEBUT ALBUM ZENITH
ABOVE QUEER AS FOLK (OBVIOUSLY) BELOW MAMA RU