Why it's been a bad week for homosexuals

There's no going back now for the oh-so ambiguous George Michael

TAMMY WYNETTE dead. The Spice Girls failing to reach number one. George Michael in jail in LaLaLand for "disorderly behaviour". It's been a bad week for homosexuals.

Oh, you didn't know George Michael was gay. Yes, you'd heard the careless whispers. Still, you weren't 100 per cent sure. Not even after that other George's - the drag queen formerly known as Boy - bitchy comments about GM's female companions being fag hags. Not even after that media flap a couple of years back over the release of "Jesus to a Child" as the comeback single. Well, what if it was dedicated to a "close male friend" who had died of Aids? The lyrics and accompanying video were sufficiently ambiguous to allow a window of doubt, even in the plain face of Michael's evident grief. "I was smoking 25 joints a day" he admitted, and all the press did was write about drug abuse.

Ambiguous. That was the word George Michael used about his sexuality in a recent Big Issue interview: not the Wham, screaming teenage girl pin-up George, but the Older, serious, market-repositioned George, an idol with a less fickle audience and a lot less to lose.

Still, it's curious that the statement should have passed with quite so little comment. Or maybe not so curious; George Michael is a better artist these days and consequently not as big as he once was. Perhaps lack of interest also accounts for the silence that greeted his attendance at Princess Diana's funeral with Elton John and his partner David Furnish. Or perhaps pop culture has a wise way of turning a blind eye to those performers it holds in affection. Especially if they are willing to keep their end of the unspoken bargain gay artists have traditionally struck with their public. Don't ask, don't tell as they say in the US army. Noel Coward cloaked his sexuality unto the very grave and this week reaps a three-part Arena special, two photo exhibitions and a CD of rock covers in aid of Aids.

Of course, being caught in the middle of the risky business of cruising is one way of coming out. And doubtless cod-psychologists will soon be asserting George Michael couldn't come out, so he subconsciously decided to be found out instead. Who knows? This might contain a trace element of truth. In America, the famous order room service. They do not venture out - a lesson also lost on neophyte star Hugh Grant.

That leaves the addictive, nay, compulsive, thrill that cruising affords both predator and prey. Or how, in this instance, the pulsing, erotic, anonymous, deep in the dark routine might have confirmed everything secretive in George Michael's nature. Yes, he may have felt driven to it, but not merely from recreational lust but because he foolishly thought it was safer than a club, a bar, a rent boy.

So, who does it hurt? George Michael would be the obvious answer. Fortunately, it's not so obvious. Identical circumstances didn't hurt Jimmy Somerville. Yes, he was out and considerably smaller fry, but the vital point is the public was tickled rather than revolted.

Still, right this besieged second, George Michael may be regretting not coming out in The Face years ago as planned. Cold feet and tender feelings intervened then; he worried how the backlash would affect his beloved, though strait-laced Greek parents. His mother died earlier this year, his secret love is no secret anymore and there's no going back.

Which is fine. For there's absolutely nothing to stop George Michael from moving forward. Older and Wiser.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Electricians

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fully qualified electricians re...

    Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst - High Wycombe - £30,000

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst role...

    Recruitment Genius: Operations / Transport & Logistics Assistant

    £16000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This highly regarded industry l...

    Recruitment Genius: Finance Team Leader

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you want to work for a Compa...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower