Edie Mullen
October 2017.

Why are there so many gay people in pop music?

2 answers

I think it’s the notion of escape; that everyday reality is a suburban heterosexual couple with kids and the fantasy is a beautiful, funky life with a swimming pool. Of course, heterosexuals think that way too, but I’ve seen in gay teenagers this need to get away from that suburban heterosexual society, and music is one route you can go down.

You can establish street cred as well, so as well as being the weird kid in the corner because you’re in a minority, you can become the minority of being a celebrity and therefore a super-minority, so you’ve flipped the whole situation around!

Another more aesthetic aspect might be the element of self-disgust, and what you want to do is literally make beautiful music and inhabit a more beautiful space through creativity. So, it’s about self-expression, saying ‘I want to be me’, to be autonomous; and self-empowerment, getting the hell of out there, and getting money and new friends and connections without having to fit into any corporate guidelines.

You might have a fantasy of making lots of money in banking, but you’d have much less autonomy that way. I also think it’s to do with a feeling that, if you grow up gay, that people don’t like you very much, because of homophobic bullying, so there’s that feeling – wouldn’t it be great to be a hero, to be admired? To feed off that sense of marginalisation. 

There is one very interesting nuance: basically, gays are popular in the art itself and it does not matter in which art sector. Pay attention - basically, all the world famous and fashion designers, such as Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and others - gays. Elton John is also a world-famous singer and composer, and he is also gay. I think this is their own peculiarity , but these are only my thoughts aloud.