Sunday, February 5, 2012

Do All Gay Men Like the Same Kind of Entertainment?


This afternoon a good friend of mine e-mailed me with a question. The question was asked by a straight friend of hers.

I thought it was a great question, and innocent, too. No names, but I'm copying verbatim. This friend of my friend e-mailed her with this:

I have a question for you and I feel that you will not be insulted that I ask.We saw the Liza Minnelli show last evening and I couldn't help but notice that the audience was made up of mostly or many gay men. I noticed that before for other singers and I do know that gay men loved Judy Garland as well. What is it that attracts them to certain singers? It is the sad life she leads, her love songs, what is it? I wouldn't see that for Bob Dylan, Joan Baez or some others I like.
Yes for Bette Midler ----


My friend replied this way (in all caps because she isn't the best typist):

I'M NOT INSULTED AT ALL. I'M A LESBIAN, NOT A GAY MAN! HA!
SERIOUSLY, IT'S AN INTERESTING QUESTION AND WHAT I'M GOING TO DO IS COPY A FEW OF MY GAY MEN FRIENDS AND ASK THEM TO RESPOND TO ME.
I'LL FORWARD THEIR ANSWERS TO YOU AND THEN I'LL RESPOND AS WELL.


How other guys will answer, I don't know. But this is how I replied:

Personally, I would rather be forced to eat dirt than listen to show tunes, piano bar, Judy, Barbra, or Liza. I like them occasionally, but I'd never pay to see them...or anything associated with them. This includes anything even associated with a Broadway Show or any form of musical theater.

However, I listen to rap music when I'm alone, mostly. I listen to hard rock when I'm alone. I LOVE Bob Dylan and Joan Baez!!

I'm sure my friend will copy me with more replies from other gay men. I would imagine some will reply very differently than I did and I'll post a few answers next week to show the differences.

2 comments:

A.B.Gayle said...

Interesting post, Ryan. I know that you've mentioned your dislike of the music before, so I'm not surprised by your response.

Are they popular for the music or for their persona / performance?

Which prompts a supplementary question. What is the appeal of people like Bette, Liza etc. Can you understand why they have gathered that cult following? There are stacks of similar singers out there. So I don't think it's just that.

At the other end of the scale is the incredible popularity of Kylie Minogue and even people like Brittany Spears and Beyonce.

Kylie is the star attraction at Mardi Gras this year.

Is it the fey, freshness in their case? The vulnerable princess, almost virginal in her sexuality?

Is it their butt?

I love Kylie (not so much her music, lol). In her case and with Bette and Liza, there has been a history of sympathy and support for gay men. Could that have had bearing on the issue?

Another case that comes to mind is our politician Natasha Stott Despoja, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natasha_Stott_Despoja, who had that same gamin, feyness. She never sung a note but had almost a cult following before she got married.

Care to offer up any theories on the subject as to the reason for the reaction?

Would the two groups overlap? eg Bette/Liza fans vs Kylie fans.

ryan field said...

This is hard to answer, because in truth I don't know much about Kylie. I had to google her.

I don't know why certain singers/performers resonate and create a cult following. There are many performers who support LGBT community, men and women. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are huge supporters. But they don't generate a cult following, at least not specifically with gay men.

Even though I'm not a fan of musical theater, I do like all the singers I mentioned in the post. But I wouldn't go out of my way to see them either. I have friends who would. I honestly don't get it.

Where I live there is a gay establishment. On Saturday nights one of the bars within this gay establishment has a piano bar every Saturday night. Each week, tons of gay men gather in that back bar (behind closed doors) and sing show tunes, and Judy, Liza, and the other cult singers. These guys love it. Some only go there on Saturday for the piano bar.

But outside that particular bar, in the rest of the establishment, there are just as many gay men who stay as far away from the piano bar as possible. To be honest, it grates on my nerves and I only go inside because I have a friend who is the bartender. I don't know how he does it. If I had to listen to that while working I'd lose my mind.