Out Asian Pop Singer Wils to Perform National Anthem at L.A. Dodger’s LGBTQ+ Night

”It’s so empowering because [my coming out] inspired hundreds of people in Asia to come out of the closet,” music artist tells LAMag

Singaporean pop star Wils is slated to perform the national anthem at this year’s Los Angeles Dodger’s Annual LGBTQ+ Night at Dodger’s Stadium. Wils came out as gay in 2019 and was subsequently dropped by his record label, and they later deleted his Instagram account with hundreds of thousands of followers. LAMag chatted with Wils about growing up in Singapore, the queer experience, and how his time in Los Angeles gave him the courage to come out.

On June 3, Wils will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” for thousands of attendees at the Ninth Annual Pride Night at Dodger’s Stadium. The last time he sang for a stadium this size, Wils was in Singapore, still hiding his queer identity.

“I thought in that moment I was going to feel a sense of pride for what I did in my music, but instead, when I stepped out on stage, and my song was playing, I just felt shameful,” Wils told LAMag. “That feeling inspired me to come out of the closet. I decided I [didn’t] want to hide anymore.”

After that performance, he decided to alert his Singapore-based record label that he planned to publicly come out as gay. Consequently, his record label dropped him and deleted his Instagram account, disconnecting him from hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide.

“When I was dropped, it made me feel like I was being punished for being honest, and it made me feel like I was being silenced, and so it was a very painful experience for me,” Wils told LAMag. 

Wils poses for an Instagram post announcing his performance at The Ninth Annual Pride Night at Dodger’s Stadium (photo by Casey James Knight)

There is a law criminalizing homosexuality in Singapore, and although it’s not strictly enforced, Wils said that queerness is still stigmatized there.

“There is an LGBT community over there, but it’s kind of like a don’t say, don’t tell situation,” he said.

Wils was still in the closet when he moved to Los Angeles eight years ago. But he said that his time in L.A. gave him a huge push to embrace his identity and come out.

Wils on the flier for The Ninth Annual LGBTQ+ Night at Dodger’s Stadium (photo by Casey James Knigt)

“I remember being out in West Hollywood and seeing the bars and people just openly being gay… I had never seen that environment, you know, people celebrating themselves and their differences so openly,” Wils told LAMag. “People were so expressive of who there are, and that inspired me to do that same.”

In the wake of being dropped by his record label, Wils is still “so grateful that the universe has helped [him] to turn all this pain into something beautiful.” And he is honored to be a role model for queer Asian kids since he didn’t see LGBTQ+ representation growing up in Singapore.

“It’s so empowering because [my coming out] inspired hundreds of people in Asia to come out of the closet. When they saw the story of me coming out, they realized, ‘oh my gosh, there’s an Asian openly gay artist,’ and for me when I was a kid, there wasn’t any of that,” Wils told LAMag. 

Going into Pride Month, Wils wants his queer fans, who have not yet come out, to know this:

“Realize you’re just a gift. The very reason for your existence is a gift. Don’t hide what makes you different… that’s what you should be sitting in comfort with because that’s your gift of being you [and] how you will find the most love in this world. Unwrap that gift,” Wils said. 

More information and tickets can be found here.

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