A former gospel singer and American Idol contestant is beginning the first week of the rest of his life after coming out publicly as bisexual.
Terrence Stone, who appeared on the third season of the US singing competition back in 2004 as Aaron Thomas, has opened up about his sexuality as he embarks on a new stage in his musical career under a new name.
27-year-old Stone, who has also made TV appearances on BET’s Sunday Best and Showtime at the Apollo, explained to Philadelpia magazine why the time was right for him to come out.
"I’ve been sheltered almost my whole life," he explained. "I lived my life according to others’ opinions of what I should do and who I should be.
"Grew up singing in the church. All I knew was church. I love it and I love God. But one thing I could never agree with was the religious aspect."
He continued: "As a gospel artist, it was always challenging for me to be me. The expectations of the gospel industry is to present yourself as this perfect person, when I was far from that."
Revealing that he first became romantically involved with another man out of "curiosity" after an ex-girlfriend left him heartborken, Stone says that finding R&B music has helped him feel comfortable in his own skin for the first time - something he now hopes to inspire in others.
"I just simply want to use my platform as an authentic example in the music industry and to the world, the singer says. "Today it isn’t many artists out there to look up to anymore."
He adds: "The biggest failure in life is to wake up and say I wish I did it."