Admittedly, I had zero knowledge of Pride Month – both what it was and when it was. It took a ‘love letter’ from Adam Lambert on Billboard and the LGBTQ sticker pack Instagram rolled out for the month for me to be, you know… aware.
Adam Lambert, of course, has seen the world on tours with Queen, taking on the very inquisitive job description left behind the late Freddie Mercury. Does Lambert make it work with Queen? Unabashedly, and then some. Picking up the pieces Freddie Mercury left behind, Adam Lambert has been flaunting the on-stage flair and flamboyance Queen usually promise.
Media today seemingly always present a musician’s sexual orientation that accompanies a new release or a feature. One bloke even speculated Lambert’s sophomore album to be the “next big gay thing”! These days we’d be informed of possible gay references sprinkled in a single or a music video, but it wasn’t always like this, was it?
Brit-rock superstars from the 70s and 80s instigated their sexuality’s influence in music with their well-publicised affairs and alter-egos. Freddie Mercury, of course, and David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust threw the idea of sexualities and sexualisation up in the air, and left it all to our wistful imaginations. Only fair if we shared the many of them who sent a message, and sent a message right.
Dave Bowie pushed boundaries and tickled comfort zones right from the off in 1972. He experimented with video promotional clips in John, I’m Only Dancing, where he bemoaned the consequences of bisexuality back in the day.
In the same year, Lou Reed, who didn’t hide from his bisexual dawdlings following his renowned relationship with a transgender woman, paid homage to Candy Darling and other transgender figures for Andy Warhol’s Factory, with Walk On The Wild Side.
After the thrills of Village People’s boys-will-be-boys hit, YMCA, arose Freddie Mercury and Queen’s I Want To Break Free. Freddie’s sexuality was never in question, especially not after the hit’s music video, in which Freddie dressed up as a dreamy housewife. The band’s other (straight) members joined in too and made this a fun visit.
There were other approaches to the LGBTQ scene, but arguably the change came about in 2010, and especially with Lady Gaga and Pink. The latter, with Raise Your Glass, essentially marked the video as celebrations of same-sex marriage, had two men snoggin’ within the first 30 seconds; impressing and beating Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Warped when Anthony Kiedis and Dave Navarro made out (with each other!) four minutes into the song.
Remember Alejandro? That video that featured homoerotic military men that oozing fervour and sexuality, while Hozier’s shot to fame came with Take Me To Church, whose music video added a whole new radical view to the primarily innocuous song.
Since then, however, the songs and music videos just kept rolling in. Carly Rae Jepsen (remember her from 2012?) barely dodged what-has-happened-to-music typed lynches with the adorable surprise ending to Call Me Maybe’s music video.
And when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis aren’t out and about thrift shoppin’, they produced Same Love, an empowering statement that was used to spearhead a positively successful referendum on gay marriage in Washington. Forget the awards the song and the record racked up, Same Love proved to be a call to action and that proverbial light at the end of a much hated tunnel when there was an on-stage proposal between two women at a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis show in Omaha, Nebraska.
John Legend involved transgender actress and heartthrob Laverne Cox in his lovey-dovey You and I (Nobody in the World), a video that adored the love between women of different demographics.
Backstreet Boys (BACKSTREET BOYS!) came back and went away and then came back again with In A World Like This that continued with the tradition of decorating love (and surprise endings).
A friend once suggested that there should be a Sam Smith scented candle we could purchase, but do we really need a candle that reeked heartbreak and demise? Yes. Yes we do. Sam Smith’s introduction to the world of music was dictated with messages to and from his ex’s, which helped in shedding more light on the LGBTQ bearings with music. Lay Me Down is a tearjearking example that saw him walking down the aisle alone.