Showing posts with label Gay Singer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Singer. Show all posts

March 5, 2017

Gay 90’s Heartthrob Tommy Page Found Dead He Was 46

Gay ’90s Pop Heartthrob Tommy Page Found Dead At 46

The “I'll Be Your Everything" singer is survived by his partner and three children   

Best known for his No. 1 1990 single “I’ll Be Your Everything,” singer-songwriter and music industry executive Tommy Page was found dead March 3 of an apparent suicide, Billboard reports. He was 46. Page ultimately recorded nine studio albums and toured throughout his career, but he also found success as a music exec. He worked at Warner Bros./Reprise Records and then joined Billboard as a publisher. He later worked at Pandora and most recently served as VP of music partnerships at the Village Voice.
 Tommy Page
Paul Natkin/WireImage
Page performed as the opening act on tour for pop stars New Kids on the Block and Tiffany in 1989. It was during this tour that he wrote what would become his biggest hit, “I’ll Be Your Everything,” with NKOTB members Jordan Knight and Danny Wood. Donnie Wahlberg, along with Knight, also co-produced the track.
 Page memorably appeared in a 1992 episode of Full House, serenading Stephanie at her 10th birthday party and flirting with DJ.
Billboard also reports that Page is survived by his partner, Charlie, and their three children

December 26, 2016

George Michael

When I got a text on Christmas day of George Michael’s death I very sad, was taken back to all those memories of George Michael on my younger days. I immediately let my readers know (those that are email registered got it immediately, others 24 hrs latter: George Michael, Dead at 53") of his passing. I wanted to find out the reason which was not immediately broadcasted but it was indeed a heart attack. Even at 53.

George Michael lived very fast in those similar circles that got other famous performers like Elton John hooked on drugs. He lived a fast life even though after his forced coming out following his arrest at a men’s room in Los Angeles we started to see change. He was terribly embarrassed but instead of just indefinably hiding he faced it head on and with honesty which had failed him before. He started a change in his life which was reflected on his music. He felt he was let down by the hypocrisy of the times including the music and failed bad for his audience particularly his gay audience who already knew he was gay.

The changed continued but he had bouts of depression and drug use. When we do a lot of damage early on with drugs such as cocaine which was the drug of the times we start the destruction of our vascular systems early on which we pay when our bodies start aging and no longer can absorb the damage we are doing or have done.
None of those problems takes away from the talent and humanity of this man.

 wrote on Rolling Stones a good piece about George Michael which I’m including below:

Damn it, George Michael – another beloved pop legend gone in 2016, dying on Christmas at the far-too-young age of 53, or four years younger than Prince. This one really hurts, because George Michael was a true pop visionary, one of the great Eighties glam eccentrics. No one else could have scored a classic like "Faith," his biggest, best and weirdest hit. It's one of the briefest Number One smashes of recent decades – under three minutes. Yet every moment is coded with sexual and stylistic provocations – the stubble, the black leather jacket, the acoustic guitar and handclaps, the breathy gasps and careless whispers, the paranoid lyrics, the way he sabotages his own straight-boy makeover by tricking out that leather jacket with a string of pearls. Even when George was draping himself with scantily clad supermodels, he made it seem like a statement of principle. 

George always took his pop devotion seriously, which is why he redefined the art of pop stardom in the Eighties. For him, every hit meant a radical revision of who he was and what he stood for. So when he rocked that leather jacket in "Faith," it was a renunciation of his frivolous past, just as setting that jacket on fire in his "Freedom '90" video meant no, really, this time he was renouncing his past. But whatever his next disguise was, he made it witty and seductive. This guy got how the erotics of fandom worked. As he sang, "I know all the games you play, because I play them too." 
If you want a glimpse of the original, no-filter George the world first met, check out his bizarre 1984 TV appearance on the BBC chat show 8 Days a Week with Morrissey, both gents sitting side by side to debate pop arcana from Joy Division to breakdancing. George wears a sequined tank top and sparkly earrings, casually toying with his Farrah locks as he speaks. "I literally have never seen a film as bad as Footloose," he laughs. "It was just so atrocious." Yet it's surprising how respectfully he and Morrissey defer to each other – they might be from different scenes, but they share the fierce conviction that these fan questions matter. (Surprise: George is the much bigger Joy Division booster of the two, especially Side Two of Closer.) 

He first arrived with Wham!, the ultimate boy-boy duo – "every little hungry schoolgirl's pride and joy." Of all the 1980s British Invasion upstarts, Wham! paid zero lip service to postpunk artiness – they came on as just two shamelessly ambitious teenage boys in tight shorts performing "Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)." "Success does not go hand in hand with credibility," he told Smash Hits in 1984. "Look at what's happening to the Smiths now." George was schooled in Motown tunecraft – especially Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Holland-Dozier-Holland. But nobody could guess exactly what Andrew Ridgeley did. In their first big Rolling Stone interview in 1985, they got testy about it. Andrew: "My role is everything people don't see because they're not in pop bands." George: "He just plays the guitar and has a good time."
Either way, Wham! made themselves an easy target. As Dead or Alive's late, great Pete Burns said, "They're just two toothpaste ads with a microphone, aren't they?" (And he meant that as a compliment.) Eighties kids argued over whether Wham! even counted as New Wave; the exclamation point was seen as evidence for both sides. Make It Big cracked America with "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Careless Whisper," "Freedom" and "Everything She Wants," where George bitchily arches an eyebrow at his pregnant bride: "You've shown me you can take – you've got some giving to do." Harry Styles ended up getting "Careless Whisper" lyrics tattooed on his feet – "never gonna" on his right foot, "dance again" on his left. Now that's true pop immortality. 
Wham! signed off with two killer farewell hits, "I'm Your Man" and "The Edge of Heaven." But George's solo blockbuster Faith was the apex of everything he wanted and everything he was, from dance-pop glitz to obsessive late-night ballads like "Father Figure." In the infamous "I Want Your Sex" video, George provided MTV with an intro telling the kids at home "This song is not about casual sex" while scrawling "explore monogamy" in lipstick on the bare flesh of his make-up artist. Faith's best song wasn't even one of the hits – the deep cut "Hard Day" was a beatbox funk groove where George overdubbed a duet with himself, chanting "Don't let me down" to a taunting falsetto voice. The twin Georges bicker over sex and money and respect until they break down into their climactic call-and-response: "Do you trust me?" "Yeah."
That inner conflict is all over Faith, with regard to George's hotly debated sexuality. He blasted into the music game at a time when pop stardom practically required boys to pose as gay, but forbade them from coming out in real life. It's insane how the Eighties, now cherished as the queerest of pop decades, was so closeted at the time. Freddie Mercury didn't just deny being gay – he threatened to sue press outlets who dared to suggest otherwise. So Faith was a pop starlet struggling to figure it out for himself in public but spinning off more questions than answers. (As he sings in "I Want Your Sex," there's things that you guess and things that you know.) For him it was complicated by his own inner denial – and then there was teaming up with Elton John for the ridiculous MTV smash "Wrap Her Up," with both men drooling over Marilyn Monroe, Joan Collins and Grace Jones. Last week I was karaoke-ing ("Last Christmas," of course) with a couple of women who grew up in the Eighties – they interrupted the song to give heartfelt speeches about how their whole ideal of teen romance was shaped by the dream that George Michael might be straight. That's part of the role he played in his fans' lives. (And speaking of "Last Christmas" – how did I never hear Taylor Swift's version until last week? Talk about a songwriter built for Tay to interpret. I only wish George Michael lived long enough to cover "New Romantics.") 
But George tired of the hustle faster than anyone would have guessed. Listen Without Prejudice was where he abdicated, despite muted beauties like "Praying for Time." In "Freedom '90," he could only express his quest for artistic authenticity by bringing in Christy Turlington to do his lip-synching for him. His summer-'92 hit "Too Funky" was a slight but welcome comeback in disco-supermodel mode; Older had low-key ballads inspired by a dead lover. It took a 1998 bust in an L.A. park men's room to motivate him to come out, but with typical wit he turned the episode into his "Outside" video, complete with beefcake cops. For his final album in 2014, Symphonica, he teamed up with an orchestra to do a set of lounge songs, some his own ("One More Try," "A Different Corner") and others identified with torch singers like Nina Simone. One of the highlights, as it happens, was "Wild Is the Wind," a song defined by the late David Bowie. 
I once saw a Patti Smith show in October 2004 (with Television opening) where she announced she had a song stuck in her head all day, after hearing it on the radio, so she wanted to give it a try onstage. Then she wailed "Father Figure," a ballad so perfect for her stern voice it was truly frightening. When Patti moaned the words, "If you ever hunger, hunger for me," you could hear this was a song she was always meant to sing. (She covered it a couple more times on tour that month.) The moment was a glorious tribute from one cracked pop devotee to another. And only a moment like that could do justice to the strange, beautiful, timeless spirit of George Michael. 

December 25, 2016

George Michael, Dead at 53

George Michael, who rocketed to stardom with WHAM! and went on to enjoy a long and celebrated solo career lined with controversies, has died, his publicist said Sunday. He was 53.

Michael died at his home in Goring, England. His publicist, Cindi Berger, said he had not been ill. No other details were released.

He enjoyed immense popularity early in his career as a teenybopper idol, delivering a series of hits such as "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," ''Young Guns (Go For It)" and "Freedom." As a solo artist, he developed into a more serious singer and songwriter, lauded by critics for his tremendous vocal range. He sold well over 100 million albums globally, earned numerous Grammy and American Music Awards, and recorded duets with legends like Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Luciano Pavarotti and Elton John.

Throughout his career, his drug use and taste for risky sex brought him into frequent brushes with the law, most famously in 1998 when he was arrested for public lewdness in Los Angeles. Yet, he managed to turn the incident into fodder for a popular song that poked fun at his behavior, and his acknowledgment of his homosexuality at that time made him even more popular with his fans.

Michael, with startling good looks and an easy stage manner, formed the boy band WHAM! with his school friend Andrew Ridgeley in the early 1980s. Helped by MTV, which was an emerging music industry force at the time, the cheerful duo easily crossed the Atlantic to become popular in the United States with Michael, as lead singer, usually the focal point.

He started his solo career shortly before WHAM! split, with the release of the megahit single "Careless Whisper," making a seamless transition. Critics generally viewed his WHAM! songs as catchy but disposable pop and gave his solo efforts far higher marks.

His first solo album, 1987's "Faith," sold more 20 million copies, and he enjoyed several hit singles including the raunchy "I Want Your Sex," which was helped immeasurably by a provocative video that received wide air play on MTV.

The song was controversial not only because of its explicit nature, but also because it was seen as encouraging casual sex and promiscuity at a time when the AIDS epidemic was deepening. Michael and his management tried to tamp down this point of view by having the singer write "Explore Monogamy" on the leg and back of a model in the video.

At the time, Michael had not disclosed his homosexuality, and much of his chart success was based on his sex appeal to young women. His look was raw and provocative, with tight jeans, tight T-shirts, black leather jackets and designer stubble, and his videos pushed the accepted limits with many lingerie-clad models vying for Michael's attentions on screen.

But Michael's situation changed abruptly in 1998 when he was arrested for lewd conduct in a public toilet in Los Angeles after being spotted by a male undercover police officer.

The arrest received international media attention, and seemed for a brief time to jeopardize Michael's stature as a top recording artist.

But instead of making excuses for his behavior, he went on to release a single and video, "Outside," that made light of the charges against him and mocked the Los Angeles police who had arrested him.

Like all of his efforts at the time, it sold in prodigious numbers, helping him put the incident behind him. The arrest also prompted him to speak openly about his sexual orientation.

These years represented the height of Michael's commercial success, which at times was marred by a protracted legal dispute with his record company Sony.

He remained a strong musical force throughout his career, releasing dozens of records and touring to adoring crowds despite a growing number of run-ins with police, many of them stemming from a series of driving-under-the-influence-of-drugs incidents, including several crashes.

Michael was an admitted user of marijuana and prescription sedatives and several times was found slumped over his car's steering wheel after using both at the same time.

His driver's license was finally revoked for five years in 2010 after Michael drove his Land Rover into the side of a Snappy Snap photo shop with so much force that his vehicle dented the wall.

A passer-by remembering Michael's early career wrote the word WHAM on the spot his SUV had hit.

He was also arrested a second time in public toilets — this time in North London in 2008 for drug use, an incident that prompted him to apologize to his fans and promise to get his life in order.

He also offered an apology to "everybody else, just for boring them."

A year earlier, he had told a television interviewer that his problems stemmed from a self-destructive streak and his attention-seeking nature.

He said at a press conference in 2011 that he felt he had let young people down with his misbehavior and had made it easier for others to denigrate homosexuals.

Despite these personal setbacks, Michael's musical performances remained strong even as his material moved farther from the teen tunes that first brought him to stardom.

The Telegraph newspaper in 2011 described a London concert appearance as an impressive event, calling his voice, "A rich, soulful instrument, it's capable of serious emotional heft, expertly matching the confessional tone of his own material."

Michael, with strong Greek-Cypriot roots, was born Georgios Panayiotou in England. He and schoolmate Ridgeley formed a ska band called the Executive when they were just 16 before moving on to form WHAM!

"I wanted to be loved," said Michael of his start in the music field. "It was an ego satisfaction thing."

Michael was active in a number of charities and helped raise money to combat AIDS, help needy children, and support gay rights. He had a long-term relationship with Kenny Goss, but announced onstage in August 2011 that the two had broken up.

UPI, London


December 14, 2016

Johnny Mathis On Being Gay and His Entertainment Life from Another Era

Mathis with Johnny Carson in 1979.
 Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

At his penthouse in Beverly Hills, Johnny Mathis has no objection to a 9 a.m. interview — he has been up for five hours already, and at the gym for a long-standing regime of pulley stretching and leg lifts. “Anything to get the juices flowing and also get me into my stage clothes,” says the 81-year-old singer. “I look at myself in the mirror and go, ‘Well, not bad,’ ” he adds with a laugh.

Mathis has been donning those stage clothes all year, on a tour marking the 60th anniversary of his debut album. He is a singular vocalist whose classic hits from the 1950s — “Chances Are,” “Misty,” “It’s Not for Me to Say” — established an enduring style of  pop romance. In Barry Levinson’s Oscar-nominated 1982 film Diner, set in the postwar era, the character Eddie Simmons memorably asks his pals, “When you’re making out, which do you prefer, Sinatra or Mathis?”
A native of Texas, raised in California and the fourth of seven children, Mathis caught his father’s passion for music at a young age. He began vocal lessons, including classical and operatic styles, at age 13. Yet, in high school, he also was talented enough at track and field to get an athletic scholarship to San Francisco State University and, later, an invitation to try out for the U.S. team heading to the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.

Around that same time, however, while performing at a San Francisco nightclub, Mathis caught the ear of George Avakian, head of jazz A&R at Columbia Records, who was vacationing in the city. “Have found phenomenal 19-year-old boy who could go all the way,” Avakian telegrammed his label. “Send blank contracts.”

In the six decades since, Mathis has charted 43 hit singles and sent 74 titles, including numerous Christmas releases, onto the Billboard 200. In 2003, The Recording Academy presented Mathis with a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement. It was recognition for an artist who has long sung of romance— but also has supported civil rights and gay rights, from singing with activists at the Salute to Freedom concert in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963 to acknowledging his own sexual orientation two decades later.
You were part of a generation of racial pioneers in pop in the ’50s who crossed over to white fans. What’s your perspective on Black Lives Matter and race relations today?

The world changes. The world is completely different now from when I was growing up. Back then you didn’t say things like they say now out loud, about race and things. But that’s just progress. When are we going to find out that we’re all the same, we’re all absolutely, without a doubt, the same? It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or straight or gay.

You’ve seen a lot of change in attitudes toward being gay since you were getting death threats in the 1980s. [The threats followed a 1982 interview in Us Weekly in which Mathis was quoted as saying, “Homosexuality is a way of life I’ve become accustomed to.”]

Things take time. People are stubborn about what they perceive to be the right thing or the wrong thing, and it takes a long time to filter this human condition. There’s a waiting period until people catch up. But if you have patience — which it takes when someone thinks differently from you — everybody always catches up. That patience is a wonderful virtue.

You have declined to talk about your own relationships, and it seems that you prefer to lead by your presence rather than speaking out.

I’ve been very happy to see some of the success that I’ve had along the way in opening the eyes of people, especially people who listen to music.

Looking back, what do you remember about George Avakian discovering you at San Francisco’s 440 Club?

I didn’t realize he was in the audience, and unfortunately he had a bad case of poison oak or poison ivy. So he was not in a very good mood. But he heard me sing and said, “I think you’re ready to make your first recording.” George is still with us; He’s now 102 years old, and I saw him not too long ago. He counseled me for many years.

Gary Graff

December 2, 2016

Hip Hop Singer Andre King Comes Out Gay

Andre King has decided to use his platform on Growing Up Hip Hop to come out of the closet.

The reality star, and friend of Angela Simmons, opens up about his sexuality on the series during tonight's episodes and E! News has the exclusive interview with Swizz Beatz's brother.

"I came to [my family] and I was just honest and I said, ‘You know what, I have something that's been laying on me and I just really want to tell you guys something,' and I just told them that I am gay and just identify as me. They were just really proud of me and happy and they all gave me so much love and just really said, you know, this is big. This is bigger than you doing your reality [show], this is your reality," King tells us. "That felt so good to get the love."

King shared that hearing his family's reaction was a "powerful" moment for him.

"It was so embracive and there was so much love, it felt like such a weight lifted off of me."

The actor and model also explains that his famous brother and sister-in-law Alicia Keys have been nothing short of supportive of his decision to come out as gay.

"I was just so nervous…I said I wish I would've come to them so much earlier and I probably wouldn't have gone through so many things that I've been through and they literally were like, ‘Dre, it's OK, we love you. We accept you no matter what. It's all good. It’s all love.'"

King added, "I'm kind of glad that everything's happening now, everything happens for a reason and timing is everything…I feel like it's a new journey, it's a new chapter and it's just great things. There’s been so much great feedback from my friends, my family and people that just know me. 

I can say it's a powerful thing that I'm doing and people are like you're going to inspire someone else to do the same thing, to come out and just let people know it's OK to be you. It's OK to be different. It's honestly dope to be different."
King also shared that Simmons has been nothing short of supportive throughout this experience for him.

"She is really the reason I'm even on the show. She has been a great friend and a great sister to me. She has been amazing."

And as for how Simmons is handling her newest role, the role of being a mom, King told us, "She's amazing with it. She loves it. I can tell that she is really enjoying motherhood.”

October 14, 2016

Gifted and Beautiful Out YouTuber Troye Sivan

 The Blue Neighbourhood trilogy of songs—“Wild,” “Fools,” and “Talk Me. 
Troye Sivan with Millions of followers 

This is not only true of, say, videos where YouTubers eat “weird” British candy, play word or music games, or take questions from their audience. YouTubing, as I’ve previously written, has become an important outlet for young gay men, and yet the way YouTubers talk about being gay is often terribly vague and clichéd. In part, this is because the form relies on meme and mimicry (with coming out videos adhering to set formats), but since the dominant audience for these videos is teenage girls, there is also a tendency to translate gay stories into something universal, and by extension optimistic and bromidic, stripping them of their essential queerness. 

 It is with this in mind that Troye Sivan’s emergence as a singer and songwriterbeyond the world of YouTubing is so significant. Born in South Africa but raised in the suburbs of Perth, Australia, Sivan began YouTubing in earnest four years ago, building up an audience of more than 4 million subscribers. Sivan came out as gay three years ago, in a video that has thus far attracted more than 7 million views. Over the course of the past 12 months, however, his creative attention has moved away from YouTube, where his account is largely inactive.

His debut album, Blue Neighbourhood, was released in December 2015. It received generous critical notices and sold rather well in the English-speaking world, reaching the top 10 of the Billboard 200. He’s appeared on The Tonight Show, sung at the Billboard Music Awards, and been nominated for a MTV Video Music Award. This weekend, Sivan begins a North American tour on the heels of another tour that took him to Europe, Asia, and Australasia. All this while his fellow (or perhaps that should be former fellow) YouTubers are doing such important things as going through their old iPhones.
What’s so wonderfully refreshing about Sivan, in contrast to the confected, cotton candy breeziness of YouTube, where all gay narratives must have sunny, uplifting endings, is that there is an identifiable honesty and grittiness to his music. Especially in the Blue Neighbourhood trilogy of songs—“WILD,” “FOOLS,” and “TALK ME DOWN”—there is beauty and loveliness to be found but also trepidation, marginalization, and the disappointment of unfulfilled dreams. His portrayal of what it is like to be a young gay man on the cusp of adulthood works precisely because it rings true.
This trilogy is, depending how you read it, a tale of forbidden love in stultifying suburbia or a fantasia of unrequited lust. It begins with “WILD”—“You make my heart shake/ Bend and break/ But I can’t turn away/ And it’s driving me wild.” The blue neighborhood is a geographical space (“Trying hard not to fall/ On the way home … Kissing up on fences/ And up on walls”), but it must also refer to the idea that young gay love—concealed from others, sometimes even from the object of one’s affection—can be both transcendent and punishing: “Never knew loving could hurt this good … I’ve never ever wanted to be so bad.”
In the pattern of other queer stories, “FOOLS” articulates the desire to break out of suburbia (“I am tired of this place, I hope people change”) and the pain that comes with unrealized romantic fantasies: “I see swimming pools and living rooms and aeroplanes/ I see a little house on the hill and children’s names … But everything is shattering and it’s my mistake/ Only fools fall for you.” “TALK ME DOWN”—the most beautiful song of the trilogy and indeed the album—then further develops the sense of disillusionment and longing:
I wanna sleep next to you
But that’s all I wanna do right now
And I wanna come home to you
But home is just a room full of my safest sounds
Cause you know that I can't trust myself with my 3AM shadow
I'd rather fuel a fantasy than deal with this alone
I wanna sleep next to you
But that's all I wanna do right now
So come over now and talk me down
Now, of course, this arc is far from unique to Sivan’s music, and on a 16-track album, there’s a case to be made for the contrast of light and shade. (If YouTube is cotton candy, the melancholic electropop of Blue Neighbourhood is a morphine tango.) But the moodier youthful outbursts (who hasn’t said, in their own way, “I’m just a lost boy”?) should be ignored or forgiven when Sivan writes with such an appealing candor, including on “HEAVEN” about the intersection between his sexual and religious identity.
So much of what is ostensibly “good for the gays” in pop music is, oftentimes, nothing of the sort. It’s Sam Smith eating his pronouns on “How Will I Know?” and Nick Jonas shamelessly baiting his newly acquired fans, flaunting his fetishes, and offering tantalizing tales of “technical” gay sex. But with Blue Neighbourhood, freed from the restrictions of YouTube, Sivan has made music that boasts an unashamed queer sensibility: It is about gay lives and gay love, gay happiness, and gay sadness, too.

Liam Hoare 
Liam Hoare is a freelance writer whose work on politics and literature features in the Forward and the Tower. He is a graduate of University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies

August 31, 2016

Mexico Looses Juan Gabriel (Juanga) its own Liberace

 ‘Juanga’ in 2015

With his glittery capes, slinky dance moves and ultra-romantic lyrics, Mexican superstar Juan Gabriel was an unlikely king in a country known for its machismo. He never spoke about his sexuality, yet was widely assumed to be gay.
It’s no surprise that the singer was an icon in Mexico’s gay subculture. But how was it that he came to be celebrated by the country’s Catholic, conservative and often homophobic mainstream?
Juan Gabriel, whose sudden death Sunday at age 66 cast Mexico into a state of mourning, navigated both worlds by saying nothing at all. 
“It’s his life,” said Ricardo Monroy Martinez, who came to pay his respects Monday at a statue of the performer in Mexico City’s Plaza Garibaldi, where fans were gathered, singing. Juan Gabriel’s sexuality wasn’t important, Monroy said, and he never felt the singer needed to articulate it. What mattered were the songs. “They reached my heart,” said the 63-year-old.
Juan Gabriel, the stage name he preferred to his given name, Alberto Aguilera Valadez, remained coy about his private life from the 1960s, when he started his career singing on the streets of Juarez. He maintained that posture into his later years despite a shift in public opinion on gay and transgender rights. 
 He never married, conceived four children via artificial insemination with a female friend and repeatedly refused to answer questions about his sexuality, even after a male former personal secretary wrote a book alleging they had a romantic relationship.
In 2002, a few years years before Mexico City legalized gay marriage, the famously effeminate singer shut down a journalist who asked if he was gay.
“You don’t ask about what can be seen,” he said.
Like the flamboyant pianist Liberace, who some say maintained that he was straight out of fear that the truth would hurt his appeal to mainstream America, Juan Gabriel’s stance could in part be viewed as a business decision.
“It would have been a career killer to come out,” said Hector Carrillo, who grew up in Mexico and is now a professor of sociology at Northwestern University. “That was part of the calculation for people who had a very public persona.... They would never name it. They would never say it. It was a strategy of silence.”
“Don't ask, don't tell” had long been the policy in Mexico when it came to the sexuality of those in the limelight. Famed Mexican singer Chavela Vargas waited until 2002, when she was 81, to publicly come out as a lesbian. Although Gabriel never publicly claimed the gay community, that community certainly claimed him, with his romantic Spanish-language ballads belted late into the night in drag bars on both sides of the border. Many gay fans saw coded messages in the lyrics of Juan Gabriel’s songs, such as “Es Mi Vida” (“It’s My Life.”)
It’s my life, very much my life, and I don’t have to give any explanations. 
I have my reasons, which no one will care to know.
Many have credited Juan Gabriel with opening the door to greater expression of gender and sexuality, even if he never explicitly called for it. Like Prince, or David Bowie, Juan Gabriel was known for his gender-bending clothing and occasional touch of eye makeup.
“I think he made a deep cultural change not by talking about his sexuality but by living it out on stage,” said Alejandro Madrazo, a law professor in Mexico who is an expert on the legal battle for same-sex marriage in the country. “Juan Gabriel taught us how to be feminine.”
Madrazo recalled seeing Juan Gabriel perform before a large crowd at at cockfight, a sport that exemplifies Mexico’s machismo culture.  
“He would dance in a way that was sexy and provocative in front of all these stereotypes of a Mexican man,” Madrazo said. “He would literally shake ... in their faces, and they would go crazy.”
Madrazo said he thinks Juan Gabriel never opened up about his sexuality because there may have not been just one label that fit him. “I think his sexuality was probably far more complex,” he said.
In an homage to Juan Gabriel published on the website of Mexico’s Millenio newspaper Monday, journalist Alvaro Cueva recalled friends making fun of Juan Gabriel for his effeminate stage presence. At some schools, his name was used as an anti-gay slur.
Cueva called Juan Gabriel subversive. “You ... became an idol in a country of macho men,” he wrote. “You made homophobic people sing and dance.”
Mexico has changed considerably from the days Juan Gabriel was beginning his career.  

In 2005, the federal government instituted an anti-homophobia campaign. Gay and lesbian characters now appear on Mexican sitcoms and soap operas. And public opinion polls show Mexican people are warming toward gay marriage, which is legal in several states and Mexico City.   
“Mexico got ahead of him,” said Carrillo. “Homosexuality kind of came out of the closet, but Juan Gabriel never did.”
While Juan Gabriel himself shied away from political causes, some in Mexico are using his death as an opportunity to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has championed that cause and is seeking congressional approval to amend the country’s constitution. But his plan has been met with fierce resistance from church leaders and even officials in his own party. 
“Mexicans are crying for Juan Gabriel,” newspaper columnist Yuriria Sierra wrote on Twitter. “But they would continue to deny the legal right to love.”

Kate Linthicum

August 23, 2016

The Biggest Gay Name in Pop Frank Ocean’s New Release is Out

 New released ’meandering, yet fantastic’

 Over the past four days, there has been no bigger story in the arts space than Frank Ocean. Thursday night, the elusive artist released a meandering, yet fantastic visual album Endless. An even longer masterpiece Blonde came Saturday, along with a 360-page print publication titled Boys Don't Crydistributed at pop up shops in four major international cities.
However, reading many major gay publications, you wouldn't have any idea that one of the most visible, queer POC artist of our generation — an artist who by many accounts completely changed the game for queer celebrities — had returned. 
Neither the Advocate MagazineOut Magazine, nor the U.K.'s Gay Times covered any of Ocean's recent projects upon their release. Gay Times, which has a music section on its site, hadn't posted a single article on any Ocean-related content until Monday morning, and it eventually came in the form of a short stub about a poem from Ocean's Boys Don't Cry that was gaining coverage across the web. Many fans couldn't help but see this as yet one more piece of evidence in the ongoing conversation surrounding #GayMediaSoWhite.  
Twitter user Philip Van De Kamp noticed the seemingly obvious gaffes of each major queer publication, tweeting Sunday morning, "Hi Grammy-winning LGBT POC, Frank Ocean released two albums. Whenever you have time after brunch," tagging each site's social media profiles. 
Users quickly hopped onto the thread to offer that these publications might not have had editorial staff available to cover the releases throughout the weekend. However, that excuse doesn't explain why Ocean's Endless wasn't at least covered Thursday or Friday. 
Gay Times found plenty of time on Thursday to post about Lady Gaga's new single, which isn't due until September. On Friday, the site also published an article announcing Words & Noises' EP release, a duo fronted by two white artists. Out published their first piece, a track-by-track breakdown, Monday only after their oversight began to make waves online.
 Many fans seemed to think that such a tidal wave of content from one of the most prolific queer artists would be a queer publication's bread and butter. Ocean is one of the few mainstream artists comfortable using male pronouns throughout his art, a choice he explained in a groundbreaking 2012 "coming out" Tumblr post. Media outlets across the globe covered the announcement ad nauseam, encouraging artists and executives across the industry to face issues of tolerance and inclusion of LGBTQ artists head on. Ocean arguably paved the way for artists like Young Thug to admit he doesn't believe in genders and for rappers like Vic Mensa to proudly support LGBTQ communities. 
With Blonde, there are so many queer themes for major LGBTQ outlets to unpack, from Ocean's candid "Good Guys," an ode to a man Ocean met for a blind date in a New York City gay bar, to the gender fluid style the artist employs in his "Nikes" video, singing while decked out in glitter, eyeliner and a Balmain outfit.
Many readers assume these outlets failed to cover Ocean's releases because he's a queer person of color. The oversight comes at a time when the queer community remains in a heated conversation surrounding gay media's whitewashing of its content and magazine covers. The hashtag #GayMediaSoWhite has exposed this issue month after month throughout 2016, without much of a response from most outlets. 
 At the very least, some queer sites did manage to cover bits and pieces of Ocean's releases: Monday, Towleroad published two posts on Ocean: a breaking news post about the release of Endless, as well as a post on his "Boyfriend" poem from Boys Don't CryPink News managed to write a similar breaking post on Ocean's Thursday release of Endless, without any follow up on any of his several other groundbreaking projects. Monday morning, the site published a breaking news story about a queer POC Broadway dancer who admitted to murdering his boyfriend in a Facebook post. Still there’s not a single story on Ocean's latest album Blonde
Without these publications help, the Grammy-winning, genre-bending, progressive-thinking queer artist has still managed to top iTunes charts and drive conversations on publications of all sizes and concentrations. Perhaps the major gay magazines will soon realize what was missed.
Frank Ocean's 'Blonde' release was hardly covered in gay magazines — why?
Source: Giphy
Mic reached out to Gay TimesAdvocate MagazineOut Magazine and Towleroad for comment and will update if we hear back.
Pink News responded to our request for comment, pointing to two articles discussing Ocean's imminent releases prior to Thursday night — one from early July and another on Aug. 12. "PinkNews has extensively covered Frank Ocean's latest releases," U.K. editor Nick Duffy wrote in an email. “Unfortunately, we will never be able to write about everything within this ever-expanding remit, but we do our best to make sure our coverage reflects the breadth and diversity of LGBT culture while remaining conscious of our global audience's interests."
Chris Riotta is a culture reporter at Mic, covering news, music and entertainment. He is based in New York and can be reached at

June 3, 2016

Chris Brown Says He Should Not Be Called a Homophobe{He is got a boyfriend}

View image on Twitter


Image result for chris brown and boyfriend

The posting I read on twitter below with the picture of Chris and his (boy) friend above, had Chris asking the Press why they think he is got a boyfriend when he was supposed to be a homophobe?

I guess He doesn’t know what a homophobe is but that is the classic interpretation of it.  Usually is a gay person who is afraid to be gay themselves. You see if you are straight , how can you be afraid of being gay? You already know what you are and you like it and that’s it.

It’s when the person has this uncontrollable fear of being gay is because their sexuality has not settled in certain parts of their mind but being a homophobe does not make you straight.

I got involved in this story mainly to get the chance to clarify what homophobe haters are. If you are straight and are comfortable with that, then why would you care that there are gays in the world. In other words contrary to what haters have said it does not involve anyone’s marriage or life altogether.

For all of those that use to call Chris Brown a homophobe let me tell you he still a homophobe except now he might have a boyfriend. Hopefully this will give him some understanding about his sexuality and at least stop being a homophobe.

Chris does not take too kindly to people calling him out on social media, and he is not too proud to voice his opinions. “The crazy thing is that y’all used to call me homophobic… Now y’all calling me gay???? RESPECT IS RESPECT. WHO STILL HATES PEOPLE FOR THEIR DIFFERENCES OR PREFERENCES??? Grow up. People are abundantly simple-minded. ‘NIKE X OR’,” the pop star commented. He also added a little trophy and praying hands emoji at the end, just to further solidify his point.

Over the years, Chris hasn’t always been on the right side of justice when it comes to matters of homosexuality, so it’s slightly surprising that he would be defending Olivier, but it’s never too late to do the right thing. The star used his platform to stand up for someone else. The Game also chose to throw his two cents into the ring as well. And what he had to say was super hilarious!

“Lol.. People kill me homie !!! Because two successful people take a quick photo opp together & one of them is gay/or not that means the other person is gay too !!! This guy is the head of BALMAIN… Most of you n***** ain’t even employee of the month at wing stop, uncomfortable in your own skin using HATE to hide behind your own insecurities… & everybody know this n**** Chris ain’t gay & all you n***** listen to his music while yo broke ass ridin’ shotgun in yo girl car so [Cut] the bullsh*t & let people live,” the game added. Can you say: Shots fired! Wow!

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