Thursday, 27 November 2014

On What People Call "Gay" Music

This post was originally for #LGBTApril month but I couldn't seem to get it finished in time, and I was going through my draft posts the other day and while it's not longer #LGBTApril or about books, and while I love book blogging, why not add a little something different? (And okay, any excuse to talk about music really.) So I'm combining another one of my loves, music. I read an interview ages ago, and I'm not sure which one it is so I've linked the two that I re-found today, with Tegan and Sara, where they're asked about their sexuality effecting their music, and how others see that music because of being gay.

In The New Gay Interview  and The Gay Interview  there is some great points about distinguishing between the two, and why it shouldn't even have to be distinguished in the first place.

Which led me thinking, what exactly is "gay" music? Is it a genre, the sexuality of the artist, or the lyrics? What classes a song as "gay" music?

In Tegan & Sara's Heartthrob, there are two songs that gender  How Come You Don't Want Me and Now I'm All Messed Up that wouldn't even be questioned or if you didn't know they were gay. It could easily interpreted as Sara singing about a guy. Whereas in Now I'm All Messed Up, the lyrics are more gender orientated, but again, if a male artist was singing those lyrics, no one would think twice.

There are plenty of artist's out there that are gay, past and present, so what exactly makes "gay" music, gay?

And I'm stumped because...

Nothing. It doesn't exist. 

In whatever context it doesn't exist. Music isn't gender oriented. It's music. It's universal. I know certain music and artists are aimed at a certain audience, but music is music. It's just music. Lyrics are lyrics. They're the same no matter what gender or sexuality of the artist that are singing them.

An artist has a sexuality. Not music. Just because an artist is gay, doesn't make their music, gay.