I wasn’t a huge fan of George Michael, though I liked his songs, but I absolutely loved this one. So good to horse around on the dance floor to. When I was in my early 20s I was greatly taken with gay culture. It was a liberation movement whose tools were completely different to the others. Civil rights and feminism were full of the self-righteousness of their entirely just cause. One could attach one’s idealism to these causes, but their worthiness limited the extent to which they were naturally celebratory.
The gay rights movement was quite different. It’s whole modus operandi operated through its embrace of the unique culture it had built over the previous centuries in the shadow of the relentless anathematisation of homosexuality. Being a woman or being black wasn’t against the law. Being gay was.
And so gay culture arose from the need for deniability. Polari – a specific gay language [1. Or at least enough words to celebrate a unique sensibility and put outsiders off the scent.] – provided one means of communicating what one wanted to without detection, but the principal weapon of choice was irony which allowed initiates to convey meaning – often quite explicitly – in ways that were quite undetectable to others.
As all liberation movements encounter the tension between the struggle for equality and, as that struggle succeeds retaining their own unique history and sensibility, gay culture seemed to be more insulated from those kinds of dilemmas. I expect that was part of the diffidence gay liberation activists of the 1970s have felt towards gay marriage, and in the upshot – in the age of gay marriage, I’m not so sure gay culture is insulated from being homogenised with the larger straight culture.It was a wonderful revelation and a liberation when I encountered it in my university years. George Michael was at the poppy-est end of the gay pop music spectrum, and except for “I’m your man” not my
In any event, it was a wonderful revelation and a liberation when I encountered gay culture in my university years. George Michael was at the poppy-est end of the gay pop music spectrum and, except for “I’m your man”, not my favourite. Meanwhile, New Romantic pop music was the first and perhaps only pop music craze that I really took to.
Anyway, now, sadly George Michael is no longer with us. R.I.P.