I’ll just get to the point here- why are straight singers never referred to by their sexuality? Yet if a singer is bisexual, lesbian or gay- their sexuality is named before they are.
I’m not a fan of her music at all (she can sing, I know- I just don’t like her songs) but any time I have read anything mentioning Jessie J, the fact that she is bisexual is mentioned first. Why is it important?
Why isn’t it ever written, “Heterosexual singer Florence Welch…..” Why must the fact that someone isn’t straight be announced before their name? It’s beyond ridiculous.
I’m not someone who gives a shit about the sexuality of artists I like. I love The Horrors- do I care if any members are gay? No. Do I care who they are going out with? No. Do I care about their music and only their music? Yes. 10% yes. Their personal life is their personal life. It’s not my business; it’s not your business. It’s highly irrelevant to what they do.
Maybe there is still a hint of homophobia within the music industry, but nobody will ever bring it up. Something tells me no one would have been able to shut Beth Ditto up if they told her to not mention her being a lesbian when the band got big with the release of Standing In The Way Of Control. However, on the flip side of this- it can be a good thing. Knowing you have strong figures such as Beth Ditto that are open with their sexuality can make someone feel more at ease with their sexuality. If it wasn’t for the Gossip I honestly would have struggled a hell of a lot more with being a lesbian. Maybe I’d still be “in the closet.” I have no idea; all I know is that Gossip made it so much easier for me to accept who I am. However, I do not and will never use my sexuality to define who I am. I don’t apply for jobs and say “I am a lesbian, give me a job.” Let’s be honest, if I did that I probably would never have any chance with ever getting a job. There’s still homophobia around, if anything I feel it is a lot worse than it used to be.
There are so many ways to look at this. One thing that pissed me off more than anything was Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl. To some, it’s just a song. To others, it’s a mockery. It’s tacky and offensive. The lyrics to start with are awful and the meaning is even worse. It’s basically saying, “I’m not really gay/bisexual, I just kiss girls when drunk.” There are people that do this, and it’s just pathetic. They have no hint of lesbianism in them- but they will do it when drunk or to impress a guy. Yeah, girl power right? Fuck off. It’s just drunken fun? Drunken fun is stealing trolleys or kidnapping your friend’s dog and refusing to give it back (I’ve done neither.) Drunken fun is not taking the piss out of someone’s sexuality. Does Katy Perry know what the struggles the LGBT community face? No, because she’s straight. She doesn’t know what it’s like to be called various expletives based on who you fall in love with. This isn’t a personal dig at her, if I was going to do that- I’d dedicate a whole article to her. I don’t like her music, and I Kissed A Girl just sums up stupidity and desperation.
One singer in particular that I admire and have done for such a long time is Holly Miranda. I’ve loved her since she was in the band The Jealous Girlfriends. I love her voice. It’s quite bluesy and it grips you. I just think she’s fantastic. Is she super famous? No. But she should be. She’s currently working on a new album. Something that struck me about Holly Miranda was what she said about her sexuality, “I have no problem being out, but I don’t think it has anything to do with my music. I like who I like. I don’t want people to not listen to my music because of that and I don’t want people to listen to my music because of that. I haven’t had to deal with it in a professional way very much yet.” This is how it should be. She should be known based on her musical talent not her sexuality.
Would people care for Elton John or George Michael if they weren’t gay? Is that what sells them? Have they used their sexuality to sell records? I could name drop a certain person who I feel has done this, but- there’s no point. Let’s just say, their name is part of a Queen song. Has the penny dropped? It should have.
I’m fully aware that I am alone with my thoughts and feelings with this, but I’d be a bit of a wanker if thought and felt like everyone else really. Then again, that seems to be an issue with most.
What I am trying to say is that music should not have a gender or sexuality. It shouldn’t have a colour.
Do lesbians feel they cannot listen to straight singers because they are not straight? Do black people feel they cannot listen to Classical music because they’re not white? It’s all the same thing. Sell your music based on your talent (if you have any) not on parading around half naked, pretending to be “bisexual” to sell records. If you have to rely on a gimmick to sell your music- then stop. Just stop because you are preventing those with actual talent of making it.
Will anyone ever pay attention to bands that are openly gay such as Uh Huh Her, The Cliks, Sick Of Sarah? Will anyone regard The Organ as one of the greatest female groups ever? No. Probably because they are gay. It’s a shame but homophobia is still alive and polluting peoples minds. However, singer kd lang has made her mark. Not by being a lesbian but by having one of the strongest voices ever.
I could easily go into a rant about how lesbians seem to love certain singers and bands. I really don’t get it. Not because I’m a pretentious oik, but because I don’t get it. I don’t think that because Spiritualized are one of my favourite bands that I know more about music than you or that I’m better than you. Far from it. So far from it. I’d like to know why people buy into what is forced upon them.
It becomes like a uniform almost. Gay men are forced to “enjoy” the music of Madonna and Lady Gaga. Lesbians are forced to “enjoy” the music of Pink and Paramore.
Personally, I don’t give a shit what anyone listens to. I like what I like, you like what you like.
Music unites people, so stop segregating it by labelling a musician based on their sexuality before you write their name.