By this time next Friday, it will be July. Aside from all of my mixed feelings about celebrating Independence Day and all of that flag-waving around the country, July makes me melancholy marking the mid-point of the summer. This brings about the time worn queries of the figurative glass being half empty or half full.
At any rate, it’s still June, and we haven’t celebrated LGBTQ Pride month properly without paying homage to a long list of artists and their contributions from the LGBTQ spectrum of entertainers.
Acceptance of LGBTQ artists has steadily increased in popular music and performance arts, and many have come out publicly following some early pioneers, such as Lou Reed in 1972. “Walk on the Wild Side” detailed the LGBTQ friends of Andy Warhol.
The 70’s continued with several platforms for LGBTQ culture and expression with disco, glam rock, and popular music. Artists such as Elton John, David Bowie, The Village People, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, Freddie Mercury and others were quietly accepted.
As time marched on, the 80’s brought more LGBTQ culture with colorful characters like Boy George of Culture Club and Cyndi Lauper, who was not gay, but spoke out for gay rights.
In the 90’s, k.d. lang came out and faced backlash from many country music stations and was picketed at the Grammy’s while she received an award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
The 2000’s spread positive messages further with artists who either identified LGBTQ or supported those who were, such as Miley Cyrus, Sam Smith, Adam Lambert, and Lady Gaga.
At the end of the day and week, and now at the end of Pride Month, I encourage you to celebrate those from the LGBTQ world who have shared their musical gifts with us. Share a song with friends as we raise that glass — whether through your personal prism it’s half-empty or half-full, I say fill it up! — with thanks for the music.
Cheers, NewsViews friends, it’s 5:00 Somewhere!