There are two sides to every story.
“Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats … The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects.”
“The difference between a straight guy and a gay guy,” I was once reliably informed by the owner of a London all-male masturbation club, “is about two pints.”
I was drinking my third pint at the time.
An awful lot of people think I’m gay. By which I mean an awful lot of people think the only reason anyone would ever write about sexuality is because they’re gay.
“Why do you give a shit?” asked a gay pop star I was interviewing for an NME article about homophobia—shortly after my then-girlfriend brought him a cup of tea and some digestive cookies.
Then again, an awful lot of people think I’m straight. I’m married to a woman. I shop at the Gap. Most of the people I’ve ever had sex with have been female. Most of the people I’ve ever seen on the street who’ve made my eyes bulge out on stalks and my drooling tongue fall out of my mouth and my cartoon heart pound like a jackhammer have been female. And when (for research purposes) I look at straight porn, I probably spend more time looking at the females than I do the ubiquitous, enormous, rock-hard cocks.
So I guess that makes me straight. Straighter than I was at 16. But, just for the record—to paraphrase that quintessential bet-hedging sexual toe-dipper Katy Perry—I have kissed a boy, and I liked it.
It used to be really uncool to be bisexual. I remember reading a “Gay Lib” leaflet that concluded with a dictatorial, “Make your mind up!”
Then there was poor Brett Anderson, lead singer of indie band Suede, who said in 1992: “I’m a bisexual who’s never had a homosexual experience,” and was crucified for it.
At the time, I thought, “That probably describes an awful lot of people I know”—although when I tested this out in the NME office, I found every single hetero male I asked had some homosexual experience. (According to a 1995 survey, half of all men who’ve had a homosexual experience don’t consider themselves gay or bisexual.)
Born in 1960, I grew up in a pretty bi era. I don’t think it a coincidence that the two big pop sex icons of the ’60s—the Beatles’ Paul McCartney and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones—both looked like butch girls.
And there was “Lola” by the Kinks—a rousing, passionate, soccer-hooligan anthem about a guy who decides that it doesn’t matter a tuppenny damn if the chick he loves is actually a dude.
In my adolescence, pop was dominated by glam rock—the glorious “brickies in drag” who played with gender like it was Play-Doh. And there was Bowie, of course.
And then came punk, which tried terribly, terribly hard to be asexual. But because most of its participants were teenagers with raging hormones, it merely succeeded in making the asexual sexy.
Gay punk star Tom Robinson had a hit with the single “Glad to Be Gay” in the UK in 1978. I remember a show in the hard, grimy, working-class town of Bradford, England, where I stood and sang the chorus with thousands of other young punks, the vast majority of whom I can guarantee spent their entire adolescence using the words “puff” (the Northern English version of “faggot”) and “woman” as if they were the vilest epithets. As I know I did, even as I developed a dizzying crush on the Eton-cropped boy at table tennis camp.
After the show, Robinson sat autographing records and merchandise when a wee girl walked up wearing a “GLAD TO BE GAY” T-shirt and said: “Er, my mate says you’re a puff. Is that true?’
Today Tom Robinson is heterosexually married with kids, for which fact he has been mocked both by the homophobic British tabloid press and attacked by some gay activists.
Judge Daniel Anders may be the most well-known personality in the least-known political campaign in Philadelphia. On top of his regular judicial schedule, Anders is flying in full campaign mode, running ragged from one event to another throughout the city while seeking a 10-year seat on Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas. He’s also running as the city’s first openly gay judge.
As a transsexual African-American female organist, Desiree Hines has encountered her fair share of discrimination in a field dominated by white men. But along her rough road she’s developed a commitment to visibility. The director of the Traverse Arts Project (TAP)’s upcoming LGBT festival, Hines sat down to talk with PW about her long journey.
Welcome to The Skorpion Show, a low-tech, high-volume YouTube talk show full of celebrity gossip, family intrusions and occasional advice on how to tell if your man is gay. And Kevin Simmons—the “Skorpion” of the show’s title—believes it can be his launching pad to stardom.
There’s a rich history of queer activism here. But now, outside of friendly enclaves like Philly, it’s still perfectly legal in Pennsylvania to fire someone or deny someone housing because they are gay or transgendered.
Gay Philly Cop Shares His Story
State of the Gay Union
PW's Guide to Gay-Owned Restaurants