[Reddit] When I first started out in music, I thought I was bi and mostly dated guys. I was really out about it.
All the industry people I met said it was really “hot” and definitely an advantage because it meant more male and female fans. I was even told by a famous producer that “Bi trumps gay. It even trumps straight”.
There was a very clear opinion that being bi, pan, fluid, no label etc. was “cool”, but being gay was just… gay. You get pigeonholed into the gay scene. But if you’re bi, you can claim both the gay scene and the mainstream.
Anyway. I’m so lucky that my career has taken off and I have more fans than I ever imagined I would. Lately I’ve done a lot of reflecting and realised I was actually 100% gay. Well fuck.
I told my manager and producers, who I’m really close to. First words out of his mouth were, “Don’t tell anyone.” Said I’d lose tons of male fans and become a niche gay artist. And that I better not “shave my head and go all dykey”. They said I don’t have to actively lie that I’m bisexual, but if any questions come up I should just avoid it by saying something about fluidity and not everyone needs a label.
In the big scheme of things, it’s not the end of the world. Worse stuff has happened to me in the industry. I could write a book about how artists are treated, especially women! I’m fortunate to live in a time where I can date a woman and it’s not a big deal. (And if I get a big platform, I will come out. But right now it would just erase me from the industry forever.)
What’s fucking with my head is I talked to some other artist friends of mine who I knew were some kind of queer. And many told me they were actually gay, but had to play the same game. “You can be gay in behaviour all you want, just don’t ever say the word gay or lesbian or homosexual.” They told me about their friends, who included well-known artists and actors, who were also closeted gays. In fact it seems a way bigger issue in the movie industry, because you need to be taken seriously in straight roles.
It’s totally changed my perspective. I used to wonder where all the gay celebrities were, and why everyone was “no label” these days. Now I know they are hiding in plain sight.
Of course a lot of them are actually in that grey area. And I will take their word for it. It’s a real orientation, and doesn’t mean you’re closeted or confused. But it’s sad how many gay people are forced to do it too. It will never be cool to be gay, because you lose your appeal to the majority of people. And show biz depends on appealing to people. No matter how accepting society becomes, the media will be full of closeted people.
It makes me that much more appreciative of people who have come out as gay, even if it ruined their careers.
BG Note: We do not know if this singer is very famous, but based on her comments about her manager and producers, her large following, and her concern about losing industry status if she came out, it is likely that she is a known recording artist.
[Optional] If your favorite straight singer suddenly came out as gay, would it change your level of fan interest?