The music veteran only confirmed he was gay in 2001 when he identified himself as a "queer artist" in an interview with Time magazine.
However, the singer now believes artists should speak openly about their feelings because it may help young fans dealing with their sexuality.
He told Spin: "It was super complicated for me in the '80s. I was totally open with the band and my family and my friends and certainly the people I was sleeping with. I thought it was pretty obvious.
"I didn't always see that. But I see now, of course that's the case, of course that's needed. I'd just never felt strongly enough about a particular relationship to say, 'Yeah, he's my boyfriend, that is what it is'.
"Now I recognise that for public figures to be very open about their sexuality helps some kid somewhere."