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The purpose of my life is to entertain. It’s a constant feedback loop.’ Before becoming lead singer in the fabulous Scissor Sisters, Jake Shears was Jason Sellards, just a kid with an unfathomable imagination and a love of He-Man dolls. Splitting life between Arizona and the Pacific West Coast, his childhood was marked by school bullies and the terror of the rise and misunderstanding surrounding the AIDS virus. With changes in age and geography Shears gradually found a sense of belonging – first in Seattle, then in the street life and lights of New York City in the late 90s where, with friends and musicians also thirsting for freedom and the stage, he would form Scissor Sisters and go on to sell out venues worldwide. This is a wide-eyed and determined coming-of-age story from a world famous LGBTQ+ icon, but its heartbeat is Shears’ friendship with Mary Hanlon, who he met via The Edge, a prehistoric chatroom, when he was 15 and she was 21. For years Shears lived in New York with a landline for which only Mary knew the number. Although long-distance, self-absorption and changing circumstances would take their toll on the friendship, this was the safe-house that sheltered a pair of misfits from the unthinking prejudices of a fearful world, a haven to which both would always return, and for which Shears wrote the song ‘Mary’.
JAKE SHEARS is the lead singer of the multiplatinum-selling glam rock band Scissor Sisters. Born in Arizona, he grew up in the Seattle area before moving to New York City, where he studied fiction writing at The New School. He wrote the music for Tales of the City, a 2011 stage musical based on Armistead Maupin’s bestselling book series of the same name, and will join the cast of Kinky Boots on Broadway in the role of Charlie Price in January 2018. Jake Shears recently finished his debut solo album, which will be released in 2018. He divides his time between Los Angeles and New Orleans.