I’m a little bit obsessed with the Scissor Sisters song Let’s Have a Kiki. I get most of my music recommendations from podcasts and the internet, so not listening to the radio means I’m often behind when it comes to what’s popular. The song is great, but what appeals to me about the Scissor Sisters in general is frontman Jake Shears. Physically he’s not the man of my dreams, but there’s a quality to him that I don’t see in other performers. Watching his gyrating hips in the Kiki video clip, I tried to pin it down: a powerful, very masculine sexuality, but one that is nonetheless very queer. In other words, he’s a little bit Freddie Mercury.
There are other amazing queer male performers out there, even ones whose sexuality is very much a part of who they are in performance. Antony Hegarty, Patrick Wolf, and Rufus Wainwright spring to mind as musicians I hold in very high regard. And while sexual and even sexy in their own ways, none of them has the raw sexual power that Shears exudes on stage. It’s like at any given moment he could fuck you, beat the shit out of you or give you a manicure. But of course, no one is Freddie.
He’s a personal hero. The amazing video clip to I Want to Break Free initially features a moustached Freddie dressed as a housewife, and culminates in some weird choreography involving shirtless hunks and dry ice. Both camp and sexy, this is Freddie to me; the quintessential queer who never ceases to be physically and sexually powerful. Watching these clips and footage of his live performances they always seem like a big ‘fuck off’ to anyone who would dare have a problem with him, or with queers anywhere.
I think the diverse sexualities represented by queer performers today is a good thing, and a wave of Freddie imitators would be an awful thing. Still, watching Jake Shears thrusting his way through the video to Let’s Have a Kiki without a care reminds me that his legacy lives on.