What else should I say Everyone is gay
June 20, 2006 5:41 PM   Subscribe

I need a list of gay rock/pop and jazz musicians and naturally thought of the obliging folks here at AskMe. So...any ideas?

Strangely enough, all I can think of is Bob Mould.
posted by ashbury to Society & Culture (69 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Elton John.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:43 PM on June 20, 2006


A couple of weird ones,

Not completely verified, but it's pretty well-known that Darby Crash of the Germs was gay.

Duke Ellington is also believed to have been gay.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:48 PM on June 20, 2006


Um, the Village People?
posted by patr1ck at 5:49 PM on June 20, 2006


Tom Robinson.
posted by selton at 5:50 PM on June 20, 2006


Freddy Mercury (bi)
posted by matthewr at 5:51 PM on June 20, 2006


Gary Burton
posted by iTristan at 5:54 PM on June 20, 2006


Rufus Wainwright
posted by kimota at 5:55 PM on June 20, 2006


Fred Hirsch (jazz)

Freddy Mercury

George Michael

Boy George

Fred Schneider? (b-52's)

Patricia Barber (jazz)
posted by bim at 5:56 PM on June 20, 2006


I should clarify: this is for gay day on a University radio station, so think college radio.
posted by ashbury at 5:58 PM on June 20, 2006


Rob Halford
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:00 PM on June 20, 2006


Bob Mould is all about the intersection of college radio and being gay.
posted by scody at 6:02 PM on June 20, 2006


Billie Holliday (jazz, bi)
posted by RichardP at 6:03 PM on June 20, 2006


David Bowie, Lou Reed, and Little Richard all claimed to be bisexual at one point but "converted" to heterosexuality later on.
posted by JMOZ at 6:03 PM on June 20, 2006


According to Wikipedia list of gay, lesbian, or bisexual people:
Marc Almond (Soft Cell)
Janis Ian
Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood)
k.d. lang
Phranc
Amy Ray & Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls)
Fred Schneider (B-52's)
Pete Shelley (Buzzcocks)
Jimmy Somerville (Bronski Beat and the Communards)
Michael Stipe (R.E.M.)

Also:

Pansy Division
Two Nice Girls ("actually four lesbians of varying dispositions")
posted by kirkaracha at 6:03 PM on June 20, 2006


d'oh! missed Bob Mould on the "more inside" because I went directly to the answers.
posted by scody at 6:03 PM on June 20, 2006


Wikipedia also has a list of gay musicians.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:04 PM on June 20, 2006


This list may help as well, but it's not well-sorted to answer your question.
posted by JMOZ at 6:05 PM on June 20, 2006


Janis Ian
Melissa Etheridge
The Indigo Girls
Me'shelle N'DgeO'cello (or however it's spelled)
George Michael
David Bowie (bi)
Boy George
Rob Halford (Judas Priest)
Mark Almond
Andy Bell (Erasure)
Dave Koz
KD Lang
Patty Barber
Michelle Shocked
Dan Hartman (Edgar Winter Group)
Holly (Frankie Goes to Hollywood)
Walter Carlos (transgendered - became Wendy Carlos)

There's more in Wikipedia under Gay male musicians, Lesbian musicians and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgendered composers.
posted by macadamiaranch at 6:05 PM on June 20, 2006


Oops, should have previewed.
posted by JMOZ at 6:05 PM on June 20, 2006


stephen merrit (magnetic fields) -- definitely gay
posted by milarepa at 6:06 PM on June 20, 2006


Did Joe Jackson ever make it official? Either way, if you're compiling a playlist, then "Real Men" should be on it.

Also, wasn't/isn't Mitch Ryder gay?
posted by kimota at 6:12 PM on June 20, 2006


Dont't forget lesbian classics in Women's / Womyn's Music: Holly Near, Meg Christian, Cris Williamson... Also Phranc and Suede.
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:13 PM on June 20, 2006


Also gay male groups: Flirtations, Romanovsky & Phillips, among others...
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:15 PM on June 20, 2006


Morrissey.
posted by padraigin at 6:22 PM on June 20, 2006


Antony Hegarty (Antony and the Johnsons)
Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy)
posted by ludwig_van at 6:29 PM on June 20, 2006


Ellington colaborator Billy Strayhorn ("Take the A Train")

Klaus Nomi, Bronski Beat, Baltimora, Tom Wilson Weinberg (he wrote "Lesbian Seagull").

Also there are quite a few bands in the queercore movement.

This site has a list, but I don't know how credible it is. (Tatu? Wasn't their lesbianism just a marketing gimmick?)
posted by hydrophonic at 6:42 PM on June 20, 2006


Well, as for gay ladies, some to get you started:

Mirah, Sleater Kinney, Cadallaca, The Lookers, Cub, Dear Nora, Team Dresch (back together and touring!), Le Tigre, Tracy + The Plastics, Tegan and Sarah, Gravity and Henry, the Butchies, Dear Nora, Doria Roberts, The Lookers, Tami Hart, The Need, The Gossip.

Good luck!
posted by fireflies to stars at 7:26 PM on June 20, 2006


The Murmurs.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:28 PM on June 20, 2006


Billy Tipton, jazz musician, who lived as a man for decades.
posted by mediareport at 7:30 PM on June 20, 2006


Duke Ellington is also believed to have been gay.

Whew. Can o' worms, there. His lifelong musical partner, Strayhorn, was gay, sure, and Ellington spoke of him lovingly, but I kind of doubt that Ellington is "believed to have been gay" by most folks who've studied his life. Wouldn't surprise me, I suppose, to find he swung both ways, but that's a long way from commonly believed, even among jazzheads.
posted by mediareport at 7:37 PM on June 20, 2006


All of the issues of the [cough] seminal late 80s zine Homocore are online. Lots and lots of good info there.
posted by mediareport at 7:40 PM on June 20, 2006


jim nabors (gomer pyle)?
posted by brandz at 7:53 PM on June 20, 2006


Keeping in mind "college radio," I came up with these. These are all pretty good:
The Ditty Bops
Matmos
Pet Shop Boys
Kinnie Starr
The Moaners
The Ex-Boyfriends
Mary Gauthier
Scissor Sisters
The Butchies
Antony & the Johnsons
Tegan and Sara
Rufus Wainwright
Melissa Ferrick
Lucinda Williams
The Aluminum Group
Beth Ditto of The Gossip
The singer for Sigur Ros
The Hidden Cameras (songwriter, at least)
50% of Junior Senior
50% of The Vertical Struts
Also, Carrie and Corin of Sleater-Kinney dated for a time
posted by Gilbert at 7:58 PM on June 20, 2006


Tiga
posted by radioamy at 8:27 PM on June 20, 2006


Though we might like to claim her, I don't believe that Lucinda Williams is gay.

I would definitely second playing some Melissa Ferrick and Rufus Wainwright (Want One and Poses CD's, not Want Two which was lousy) for the college crowd.

And you better throw in some Joan Jett too. She's always at the NY Liberty WNBA games...if you know what I mean. LOL

Patty Larkin (folkie stuff) is gay. So is Sharon Isbin, if you want to go wild and slip in some classical guitar.

Doria Roberts

Michelle Malone

Catie Curtis

Ani DiFranco (bi)

Sister Funk

Betty (partially gay group)

The late Laura Nyro (she was a goddess IMHO)
posted by bim at 8:31 PM on June 20, 2006


Pet shop boys. Jill Sobule (ish).

Are you sure about Lucinda Williams? She sings so many songs about the fellas.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 8:38 PM on June 20, 2006


Wow, I haven't thought about The Murmurs in a really, really, long time.

I just read something saying that Morrissey says he's neither gay nor bisexual. Not sure what I think, but just putting it out there.

I'm not sure if anyone already said it, but Kele Okerek from Bloc Party is reportedly gay.

Tracy Chapman.



Clay Aiken?
posted by Cochise at 11:07 PM on June 20, 2006


Don't forget that, along with Mould, Grant Hart was gay--thus making Hüsker Dü 2/3 gay. Flip you wig, indeed!
posted by maxreax at 12:06 AM on June 21, 2006


Elizabeth (Bitsy) Ziff of BETTY
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 1:21 AM on June 21, 2006


What, no drumbeat for t.A.T.u.?

Also, songbird and longtime Chevy shill Dinah Shore apparently wasn't gay, but her tournament sho' nuff is!
posted by rob511 at 1:48 AM on June 21, 2006


Tribe 8 (queer punk rock)
The Haggard (female hardcore punk duo)
Dominatrix (Brazilian old school h/c punk)
Sextional (incl. Emily of The Haggard and Tami Hart)
Limp Wrist (old school h/c punk)
posted by pollystark at 4:08 AM on June 21, 2006


roddy bottum (imperial teen)
posted by Ziggy Zaga at 4:40 AM on June 21, 2006


a question for the questioner: why do you need/want this list? (i'm merely curious.)

although it's never been confirmed authoritatively, billy squier has been rumored to be gay. this does nothing to dispel it. warning: linked video is extremely, extremely (yeah, that's right -- double extremely -- take that, marketers!) gay.

Don't forget that, along with Mould, Grant Hart was gay--thus making Hüsker Dü 2/3 gay. Flip you wig, indeed!


the only straight member of hüsker dü.
posted by Hat Maui at 4:50 AM on June 21, 2006


hat maui, the station I host a show at is doing an "all gay all day" event, where the playlist should feature gay musicians. The program director has requested help in finding artists to play, so naturally I thought of askme.
posted by ashbury at 5:30 AM on June 21, 2006


The dead one from Heatmiser (Elliot Smith's old band), can't remember his name. Talented dude & pretty fucking college radio
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:35 AM on June 21, 2006


Oh, and by the way, thanks everybody for your help - this is a great list.
posted by ashbury at 5:38 AM on June 21, 2006


Hat Maui: I was about to mention the Bob Mould/Grant Hart thing.

I've always thought of Hüsker Dü as the gay ZZ Top. One look at Greg Norton's publicity shots from the mid-80s and you'll see what I mean.
posted by macdara at 5:39 AM on June 21, 2006


Clay Aiken hasn't been confirmed either way - and trust me, don't play him unless you want a bunch of crazy Claymates making your life a misery. /is a Clay fan but not the batshit version

There was an Idol contestant that was gay. J.D. Lewis, was it? He was in the first season. Will Young and Gareth Gates (#1 and #2 in the Brit version) are also gay.

Darren Hayes (he of Savage Garden) is also undetermined; some of his songs ("Love and Attraction" for example) and his interviews suggest he goes both ways. He's gay-positive, at the very least; he's performed at various gay parades and is working on that market now.

I think Lene Nystrom (ex-Aqua) and Pink had said something about bisexuality at some point. Madonna?
posted by divabat at 6:28 AM on June 21, 2006


Voice Farm
posted by matildaben at 7:31 AM on June 21, 2006


What about Kevin Aviance, who was severely beaten in NYC a couple of weeks ago for being gay?
posted by hermitosis at 7:36 AM on June 21, 2006


Whoopsie, not Lucinda. Don't know how she got in there. Also, despite being pretty obvious, Joan Jett officially has no comment. I also forgot to mention Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu.
posted by Gilbert at 7:40 AM on June 21, 2006


There was an Idol contestant that was gay. J.D. Lewis, was it? He was in the first season.

That was Jim Verraros.

Others I thought of:
Luscious Jackson (Kate Schellenbach)
The Breeders (Josephine Wigg - she actually used to date Kate Schellenbach)
Bikini Kill/Le Tigre
posted by SisterHavana at 8:27 AM on June 21, 2006


I don't care what Morrissey said in interviews, he is gay. Gayer than Oscar Wilde and Joe Orton notional love-child, gayer than Tom Cruise on poppers at a Dennis Cooper reading, G-A-Y.

Or so I surmise from a lifetime of slavering fandom.
posted by everichon at 8:53 AM on June 21, 2006


Did Joe Jackson ever make it official?

From Don't Wanna Be Like That:

And the playboy centerfold leaves me cold
And that aint cause Im a fag

Seems pretty official to me :)
posted by Scoo at 9:13 AM on June 21, 2006



Though we might like to claim her, I don't believe that Lucinda Williams is gay.


Lucindia is a "friend of a friend" - definitely not gay.
posted by echolalia67 at 9:28 AM on June 21, 2006


You should slip in someone who isn't just to confuse everyone. "You didn't know Glen Danzig was gay? What planet are you living on?"
posted by electroboy at 10:16 AM on June 21, 2006


Is Billy Joe Armstrong from Green Day bi? I've heard this a couple of times and he seems to be quoted as saying so here.
posted by ganseki at 10:43 AM on June 21, 2006


Joan Jett is out. Henry Rollins is not. Apparently, Sun Ra was gay. see here for more.
posted by klangklangston at 11:52 AM on June 21, 2006


Only one of the two members of Pet Shop Boys has said they are gay. The other one (Neil Tennant, IIRC), refuses to say.

Second Billy Tipton. Hard to get queerer than that.

One of the three members of Sapphire, The Uppity Blues Women, is a lesbian (and, they are just awesome, anyway).
posted by QIbHom at 12:56 PM on June 21, 2006


Maybe a little dancier than you're looking for but Baltimora, Dead or Alive (at least Pete Burns), Jimmy Somerville, Army of Lovers and Dirty Sanchez as well.

Leæther Strip (Claus Larsen) is openly gay, and dedicated his most recent album to his partner ("I'm yours for life"), which I thought was sweet.

Most (if not all) of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult are, and I remember reading somewhere that none of the Lords of Acid are completely straight (but can't confirm this).

A few members of Chumbawamba play for the other team, and I seem to remember at least one of Fischerspooner was. Peaches ("I U She") apaprently plays for both teams.

I'm sure there are lots more but that's off the top of my head.
posted by geckoinpdx at 1:41 PM on June 21, 2006


Uh... From what I've seen, and this obviously depends on what era of TKK you're talking about, there's a lot of bi in that band but no one seemed all that polar in orientation, knowwhatimean?
posted by klangklangston at 3:12 PM on June 21, 2006


Re: Duke Ellington - talked with a local composer/conductor this afternoon who laughed when I asked him about it; turns out he was reading about the subject just last night. Here's what he told me:

Ellington and Strayhorn had an extremely close relationship - so close that Mercer Ellington, Duke's son, said he just assumed they were lovers. For instance, Duke invited Billy to live with him just two weeks after they met. Billy was out to friends but very discrete about it. But Duke was also a notorious womanizer, in addition to whatever sexual attachment he felt towards Billy (or other men). In the end, my conductor pal (who's gay) believes that the relationship between Duke and Billy [an amazing artistic partnership, I'd add, that was easily as intense as what most people call "love"] worked on a different plane than the sexual one. It may sound like a bit of a cop-out, but aside from Mercer's comment and at least one story floating around of the two of them getting interrupted in the middle of sex by someone, there's really not much evidence of Ellington's homo- or bisexuality.

Homo-intimacy, on the other hand...
posted by mediareport at 3:18 PM on June 21, 2006


Sophie B. Hawkins is another. I think she self defines as "omnisexual."
posted by QIbHom at 3:35 PM on June 21, 2006


> no one seemed all that polar in orientation, knowwhatimean?

I admit that I don't know much about the current incarnation.

this was the first thing that came to mind though (I'm at work and can't dig around too much..."subversive" material is frowned upon here).
posted by geckoinpdx at 3:36 PM on June 21, 2006


Yes, Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields is definitely gay and his bandmate, Claudia Gonson is a lesbian. If you're looking for specific songs, then probably "I Thought You Were My Boyfriend" on Magnetic Fields' I album would be a reasonable choice.
posted by tutbon at 6:28 PM on June 21, 2006


Gravy Train!!!! - although I don't know if there's any songs you could play on the radio.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:46 AM on June 22, 2006


For still more gay musicians, here's a huge ILM thread on the subject.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:37 PM on June 22, 2006


Dude, don't bite my rhymes.
posted by klangklangston at 1:04 PM on June 22, 2006


Oh, sorry, I searched the thread for ILM before posting.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:12 PM on June 22, 2006


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