Why are there so many gay people in pop music?

31 October

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. 

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