On the outside, it would seem like Craig Lucas is on top of the world. He won the second season of The Voice South Africa, his debut album, ‘Restless’, was a hit with fans and critics alike and his singles ‘Smother’ and ‘Hearts Exposed’ became radio hits. But – the star has been battling with depression for years and he’s finally shared his story with his fans in the hopes of both inspiring others with his story and also to help him get out of the rut he has found himself in.

In the lengthy letter, the star reveals that, for years, he had struggled to accept a massive part of himself – he was in love with a man. The star shares that he had met a man during his first year at the University of Cape Town. They often got drunk together and developed a strong bond – one he perceived as a strong friendship. One day, however, the star realised that the feelings he felt for the man were more than that of a simple friendship.

“Our conversations started becoming deeper with every drink. Stares lingered just a bit longer than normal, our seats moved closer and time seemed to slow down with every shot of whiskey. I found myself fixated on his eyes and his nose, and on his lips- the way his top lip curved like the ebb and flow of the ocean, how the creases danced over the skin like folds on a rose; his lips parting and then meeting with every word he said like the wings of an eagle in flight- virile but tender, crude but graceful. I was so enamoured that often I didn’t even hear what he was saying, but it didn’t matter,” Craig shares in the emotional letter. “All that mattered in that moment was that he was there, and that I was there with him. That was the moment that it hit me- I was in love. I was unequivocally, profoundly, violently in love. I was unequivocally, profoundly, violently in love with a man. My head started spinning and I felt like I wanted to throw up. I made up an excuse to get home. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.”

Craig cut all ties with the man and admits to having an internal battle with himself for the three years that followed. But, on the 15th of January 2016, he came out to his family and friends. Naturally, he felt free. He then auditioned for The Voice South Africa and was instantly thrown back into the closet – something that has haunted him ever since. “People started telling me to keep the fact that I was in a relationship with a man a secret – “the audience is conservative” “no one will vote for you.” So I did, and I won. “I’m glad I listened to them” I thought. People then said “no one will buy your music if they think you’re gay” “girls are your biggest market, you will alienate them,” Craig shares.

Craig’s career then flourished but inside, the depression from not being himself ate him up. “My dreams had come true. I was in a relationship with an amazing man. My career was flourishing. I was wholly depressed. Suicidal thoughts plagued my mind. I’d become a very angry man,” Craig continues. “Hurt people really do hurt people. I hated myself. I was wasted every other day. There was even drugs. I’d forgotten myself. I’d forgotten that I was smart, talented, funny and kind. I’d forgotten that I was loved. It took me hitting rock bottom once more to realise that I’d been living a lie.”

Now, Craig is proudly sharing his story and hopes to finally find himself once again no matter what the consequences may be. “I don’t know what’s going to happen next. I expect to lose a couple of friends and fans, and I expect a couple of familial relationships to become strained as a result of this letter but it’s ok. I sing about “Hearts Exposed” but hid mine. So here I am pulling my best Frank Ocean,” Craig continues. “I welcome whatever is coming my way with an open heart and an open mind. Until then, I have some making up to do with the people who stuck by my side even when I was at my worst, and some amazing fucking songs to write.”

The letter, which can been seen in its entirety below, is extremely raw, inspirational and important. By showing fans who he really is, Craig sets himself free while inspiring so many who relate to his music to do the same. We can only ask for every inspirational public figure to show their true selves and reassure the world that it’s okay to live your truth and be proud of who you are. Craig, you inspire us every day and we hope that this step helps you eradicate the dark clouds around you and that the overflow of positive messages from your fans reminds you that you are loved and that you deserve to be happy.

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