Now that it’s been confirmed that Liberace was in fact gay I wonder if the Daily Mirror can claim back the money it lost when he sued them for libel? When I recently wrote about Mishima as an artistic role model one of things about his life was there seemed no doubt that he enjoyed men sexually. It was no secret, though some viewed it as a tragic flaw, as opposed to a creative gift.
I’ve also blogged about the lack of positive gay (or even bi) role models I had growing up. Those who were alive & out were Paul Lynde snarkers. Exaggerated & clownish. A few pop stars were fashionably bi but I don’t ever remember seeing, say Bowie, in the company of male companion – always fashion models.
That has changed in some ways but those changes are too late for me, as it were. I stumble over forgotten gay icons like Johnny Ray, Raymond Burr, Billy Strayhorn or Troy Donahue – as adult, not as a teen boy needing to know he isn’t the only one in the world.
Reading Keith Richard’s Life I was stunned to read that Billy Preston, was an openly gay man and dealing with that fact while working with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones. I would never have guessed Billy was gay.
I wonder if market forces kept him, as far as I can find, mum about his sexuality? He wasn’t, say a Jim Morrison, who had an image to protect. Being out certainly did no harm to Long John Baldry – but perhaps Billy didn’t the think the US pop market was ready for a hot black gay bear.
I remember when he surfaced with the Beatles, even bought an Lp of his then, but wasn’t that impressed with him musically. Since reading about him in Life I have bought a collection of his hits. Solid, pleasant but unexceptional stuff. But now I listen between the lines – the person he is missing isn’t a woman after all. Plus his album ‘The Wildest Organ In Town’ takes on a whole new meaning. Here’s a great live show.
His Wiki bio ends with ‘Preston was an openly gay man but did not speak publicly about his sexuality.’ Even his obituaries omitted that information. I wonder how open he was. Now there’s a life story I’d love to see on the screen.
I’m so excited
I have a new boy friend
he’s barely fifteen
years younger than me
did that pause catch you off guard
were you sure I was going to say
he was only fifteen years old
was it hard enough to think of a man
having a boyfriend at all
then add to it the shudder that it was
an innocent emotionally underdeveloped
fifteen year old child
though I can remember me at fifteen
jacking off to visions of rock star cock
Jimi Hendrix Bruce Springsteen
that I wished there in my bed
telling you too much
get used to it
I’ve heard enough straight poets go on
sparing no intimate details
about blissful raspberry nipples
moist peach fuzzed mounds
so I’ll talk about man on man
even if it makes some of you restless
a bit bored a bit threatened
girl on girl
would make you more comfortable
I usually try to make the nestling
of men’s bodies into each other
sound sort of sweet and tender
pulling myself away
from the gasp grasp of sweat pubic hair
so I’m excited
about my new boyfriend
though I hate boyfriend
boy carries that too young taint
man friend isn’t close
lover is more complex than it is
bed buddy yeah I like that
I have a new bed buddy
he’s nearly fifteen
years younger than me