Culture

Without LGBTQ People, Modern Music Wouldn’t Exist

The author of ‘David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music’ tells us about the most surprising contributions queer people have made to music history.

From VICE:

When David Bowie died last January, people the world over mourned the loss of the great musician. Among them was UK-based writer Darryl W. Bullock, author of David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music, out today. Bullock, of course, doesn’t actually think Bowie made him gay—rather, inspired by the late, great Ziggy Stardust/Thin White Duke/Goblin King, Bullock shares in the book a history of the LGBTQ community’s work in the music world, one of the first ever books to do so.

But why Bowie? The artist told Melody Maker in 1972 he was “gay and always [had] been,” not a thing your regular famous musician did at the time. “For the generation that would spawn the out-gay pop stars of the 1980s, Bowie’s outrageous campery and sexual androgyny was a revelation,” Bullock writes, making them feel validated, less alone, and inspired to create their own work. Though Bowie would later redefine his sexuality over the years, the 1972 statement is the one that always mattered, Bullock suggests. “For thousands of young LGBT people across the world,” he continues, “life was suddenly a little less suffocating.”

David Bowie Made Me Gay runs from what may be the first record made by a queer person—in 1916—through the births of jazz and blues, the post-World War I “Pansy Craze,” to the swinging 60s, the glam 80s, Bowie’s death and everything in between. Bullock spoke with VICE about the inspiration for his book, the most surprising revelations it led to about the role of queer people in music history, and more.

Read the full article at VICE.

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