Gay Anthems!

This Gloria Gaynor version of I Am What I Am, although released in 1984 after I came out as a homosexual, was the first tune that I fully understood to be a Gay Anthem. Today it remains a classic.

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Gay Anthems!

Hands down Fearsome Favorite Ever Gay Anthem is ….drum roll…

Boys Town Gang – Remember Me / Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – 1981 – featuring Cynthia Manley

If one ever wanted to catch a glimpse of what tune could really get a young me on the dance floor then one would push play. Oh …and before pushing play, check to make sure there is enough room to dance a bit right where you are wherever you may be.

Above is the best copy I can find of the original 12” dance track that stayed permanently on my turntable back in the day. Enjoy!

Happy Pride Y’all!

XO

Gay Anthems!

Dance parties often start with an easy intro. You know, a tune that starts a crescendo that will serve as a foundation on which an incredible dance party experience builds.

I’ve posted this tune more than once before. By now Fearsome Beard regulars will realize it is one of my all time favorites. I post it today specifically in honor of all of those before me who dared to love the love they deeply understood, the true love they felt, even though society told them that dare not.

I dedicate this incredibly beautiful anthem those who inspire us today to be who we are and to stand not only for ourselves but those who will follow us. I dedicate it to them because they were never Being Boring, they were just finally being themselves.

Pet Shop Boys – Being Boring – 1990

To those courageous people who finally said “Oh, Hell No!” …Thank you!

50 Years

My human memory does not start when I was born. My memory starts sometime after that in small fuzzy flashes. From what I gather from family photos, conversations and history, my memory probably dates back to sometime about 1969.

I can honestly say that the most significant thing I remember from 1969 was the moon landing we watched on our color console TV. I can also honestly say I do not remember the Stonewall riots in New York City that same year. I grew up in a small city in Southwest Virginia. Happenings in the metropolis of New York didn’t really make headlines there, especially happenings that involved police raiding a gay bar.

Tonight marks the 50th anniversary of that raid of The Stonewall Inn. A raid that was the spark that started a movement. A movement that I would call an uprising. An uprising that is still underway. An uprising that must continue.

May we see Stonewall for what it is. It is an inspiration. An inspiration worth continuing.

Happy Pride Y’all!

XO

Beyond Stonewall

All of us are part of history.

We each have our own story.

Our stories affect others, thus we affect a greater society.

Sometimes the smallest action creates massive change.

What’s your story?

I came out in high school. As a young freshman in 1979 after having been beaten by a group of bullies, this “queer faggot” was suspended from school. The rules were that no matter who or what caused a fight, if you were involved you were suspended. After a trip to the hospital and many facial stitches I faced a choice. Move to a private school or return and face my oppressors.

I chose to return and face my oppressors. After walking back into school with the swelling and bruises still apparent, I walked past them. This time when I was called faggot instead of denying it, ignoring it or hiding from it I took it as my own and replied “So what if I am?”

The bullying changed. I won’t say it stopped completely, but I will say it stopped having power over me.

I found that some started to accept me and over time the bullying practically disappeared. Yeah there was a comment now and then from an insecure asshole, but it was no longer aggressively oppressing. I had the power now because I took my power back by accepting and saying “I am gay, I am a faggot, queer or whatever.” High school turned out pretty good after all. Not perfect, but pretty damn good.

The change I see is this:

I changed my world by accepting who and what I was. I changed other’s worlds by allowing them to see, know and be friends with an out gay man. I also allowed others who were gay to follow me into their own truth.

Gay Anthems!

Is it possible to cry as one dances in the middle of a crowded dance floor? Yes.

John was the newly hired director of the newly established AIDS Foundation in my hometown. He was a handsome eligible bachelor, I was “on break” from my first lover relationship. He had invited me over to his place as we were on our first date and he was cooking for us. After he poured me a drink, he clicked on the stereo as we sat down on his sofa.

“This is the new release from Bronski beat” he said as I deeply inhaled the nostalgic antique smell of the large living room of his apartment on the second floor of a stunning old gingerbread Victorian home. I wasn’t yet familiar with Bronski Beat much less Jimmy Somerville. Jimmy’s voice enveloped us with a trancelike vibration. I was hooked even before the rhythms kicked in a couple minutes later. I remember wiping tears from my cheek as I listened to the lyrics that I understood all too well. John embraced me and I realized I wasn’t alone in my feelings.

Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy – 1984

Above is the 12” extended mix that we danced many a night to in the clubs, below is the original 1984 video depicting the chilling story from the lyrics.

I don’t know what became of John. He sure was handsome. It was a confusing and scary time. We didn’t yet know how gay men were contracting AIDS and or who was going to be next. At that time it wasn’t if but when. AIDS in the 1980s was a death sentence and the deaths were miserably horrible experiences to live through. He was busy trying to set up the floundering new foundation to help area victims. I was young, scared and immature so I went back to the safety of my known lover. John continued his work and we drifted apart. However the memory is cherished.

Gay Anthems!

Sylvester rocked my disco dancing world back in the late 1970s. My friend Cheryl Ayers and I tore up the Copperfield’s (a local disco in my hometown back in the day) main dance floor for every Saturday afternoon’s teen disco. We also entered any disco contest we could enter …being we were underage.

This is an American Bandstand appearance of Sylvester and Two Tons of Fun (AKA The Weather Girls). This classic must not be missed!

Sylvester – Disco Heat & You Make Me Feel Mighty Real – 1978

Gay Anthems!

It’s officially pride week. Time to break out those dancin’ shoes.

Fearsome will start with the men who made this teen, back when he was a teen in the late 1970s, wish he was older so he too could be at the discos out west in San Fransisco.

Village People – Go West – 1979