When this list popped up in a Google search, I was immediately intrigued because I knew that there was a very strong chance that this list would be a walking, talking, breathing stereotype. After all, what is a “gay” album? I mean, is MHW a gay blog or a gay site? We’re not, even though (as I find myself repeating with alarming frequency of late) I and three other members of this staff are out gay men. But the four of us (who can reveal themselves if they choose to) certainly don’t have the same musical tastes, and just because you happen to like making out with people of the same sex, it doesn’t mean that you’re predisposed to like or dislike certain types of music. My former co-worker Evan is a metalhead. There are gay punk-rockers. Hell, I like everything from Kanye West to The Shins. So I could write a long, political essay on how minority groups will never get anywhere unless we stop buying into tired stereotypes, and then I realized something…
It’s really not that serious. I mean, the list (I hope) was created at least somewhat tongue-in-cheek, right? Hopefully it was, because even though the magazine polled 100 gay musicians, actors and writers for their favorite albums, I would hope that the average person wouldn’t assume that there’s, like, one monolithic gay cultural experience anymore than I would hope that the average person wouldn’t assume that there’s one monolithic Black American cultural experience…because there isn’t.
For the record, I own 41 of these 100 albums. You would never catch me dead listening to Judy Garland, I hate Rufus Wainwright with a fierce and undying passion, two of the most fervently heterosexual people I know introduced me to Antony & the Johnsons, and I never really considered Tracy Chapman, Sarah McLachlan or Jeff Buckley (or “Off the Wall” or “Dirty Mind”…OK, maybe “Dirty Mind” a little bit) to be “gay” or even “gay-leaning” music.
Anyway, I’m not trying to go on a political rant. I just fucking hate stereotypes and this list feeds into a whole bunch of them. We seriously need to broaden our perspectives and realize that the vast majority of people are not one-dimensional and don’t fit into this narrow little box. So, this list both amuses the shit out of me and annoys me to no end. Take the list with a grain of salt, I suppose. I’ll get off of my soapbox now.
And for the record, #1 on the list was “Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars” by (the straight) David Bowie.
You can find the list here.