Local Singer Known for Gospel Says “It’s Time” to Come Out as Bisexual
Formerly known as Aaron Thomas, the popular recording artist now goes by Terrence Stone and has adopted an R&B sound.
Terrence Stone is a local R&B recording artist that was once known for his gospel vocals under the name of Aaron Thomas. In an exclusive interview with Philadelphia magazine, Stone is ready to shed that image with a new sound and identity as an openly bisexual musician.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m 27 years old, born and raised in Philadelphia, repping uptown. Been singing and performing across the U.S. since the age of four. I’m not just a singer, but a Billboard- and iTunes-charting recording artist, songwriter and music producer. You may know me from American Idol season 3, BET’s Sunday Best, Showtime at the Apollo, The Word Network, and many more TV shows.
Outside of music I’m a simple, genuine, fun yet intriguing guy. I throughly enjoy traveling and reading articles. But all in all I’m very spontaneous, open-minded, and down to earth. I have a huge heart for people. I’m big on getting to know the heart of an individual. I’ve been through a lot even though I’m young, but I can relate to many due to my life experiences. As a man I dealt with and I’ve overcome depression, fear, arrogance, identity crisis, and not being accepted for who I really am. However, all these things made me into the man I am supposed to be today: smart, free, and beautiful.
You’ve been a local gospel artist for years. What made you decide to change your sound?
Well, I’ve been sheltered almost my whole life. 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. 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. The gospel industry always made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. R&B is another genre of music that I love. It’s music that’s real and tells a story. The more I grew as an artist and as a person, I knew that my gift wasn’t only for the church. I then discovered that my mission on this earth is to impact the world through my music and life story no matter the genre. The R&B platform gives me the opportunity to encourage, inspire and uplift people in an authentic way.
You are coming out for the first time to your fans. What inspired you to after all of these years?
I just feel like it’s time. I owe them this. My entire music career was based off just my music. I never got the chance to really showcase who I am behind it. I’m a bisexual male, but I don’t have the typical stereotype LGBT story. In high school I was a nerd trying find my way. I became popular after I performed at my school talent show. I was exposed to a lot of what I didn’t know. My last girlfriend I ever had broke my heart. She was my childhood lover. We were dating for about a year, then out of nowhere she called me one day asking me to sing at her wedding. Crazy, right? Since then I could never trust another female ever again. I wanted to experience what it would be like to be with another male out of my own curiosity.
One of my biggest inspirations behind my coming-out story is my ex-boyfriend James. We broke up early 2017. He taught me a lot about myself. I always felt like I didn’t deserve him. Because I had such a dark past I wasn’t willing to grow with him over time to reveal all of who I was because I was afraid he wouldn’t love me anymore. Being together off and on for four years really showed me what true love is when it comes to a relationship. It’s not about the title, but it’s about being there for each other mutually no matter what. Since then we grew into having one of the most ultimate friendships. He’s my best friend, my rider, and literally one of the only people I can trust and depend on no matter the circumstance.
You are no longer Aaron Thomas, the straight gospel artist, but now Terrence Stone, an out R&B performer. What message do you want to send to the industry in this creative transition?
I just simply want to use my platform as an authentic example in the music industry and to the world. Today it isn’t many artists out there to look up to anymore. I feel so many are distracted by money, sex, drugs and wanting to be seen that we forget what real life is all about. It’s about spreading love and creating a legacy living out our fullest potential in this life. I want my legacy to be known by the love I show, the advice I give, and the presence I carry. I believe the music industry can reignite highlighting more mentors, role models, and true examples for people to look up to, versus glorifying drugs and money. It’s so much more to achieve in life than just those things.
If you had only one piece of advice for other artists who are having a hard time coming out to their fanbase, what would it be and why?
The key to freedom is to constantly create yourself. When you stop trying to find yourself and you began to create yourself, you become limitless. Fear, doubt, insecurities, opinions, and all of life’s mental struggles then become obsolete. Always carry your bullets. Take things day by day. Don’t get caught up in your should-haves and could-haves. Trust the process called life. Work your dreams until they become a reality. Always put your passion and what you love first in every moment of your journey. The biggest failure in life is to wake up and say I wish I did it. Remember there will never be a other you. Forever chase your purpose and then you will find the freedom you desire. The truth will always set you free.