After Adam Lambert and George Michael wowed us recently, and my groupie moment had passed, I got to thinking about performers who’ve shown it’s possible to be publicly gay without committing occupational harakiri. Just ask Darren Hayes.
Like it or not, celebs often become role models. They’re not saving whales or curing cancer, but sometimes being openly queer and successful is enough. George Michael took a while to come Outside. Although his fluoro-spandex-filled Wham days weren’t exactly subtle. But people are coming out younger. Queer youth feel more accepted.
Adam Lambert is a refreshing example. He recently said he thought kids may see that if he’s okay with it, then they might too. Sensationalist paps often ask over-zealous fans about their ‘idols’ sexuality, only to be met with a vociferous, “I don’t care, I still love him!” Just ask Anthony Callea.
Ellen DeGeneres, Quentin Crisp, and Boy George have always buttered my bread. Kd lang, the Pet Shop Boys, and Nanna Elton have also done well. And Iris King forged new ground when she became the first trans contestant on Top Model, viewed by millions around the world.
Matt Mitcham, Ruby Rose, Bob Brown, Missy Higgins, Sam Sparro, Penny Wong, Rhys Bobridge, and Courtney Act also come to mind. You could probably take your pick from SYTYCD, and the infectious Josh Thomas and Tom Ballard also recently disclosed their relationship to a somewhat indifferent public.
Then sometimes the media are so busy spawning natty headlines, they ‘out’ people who are happily heterosexual. Just ask Daniel Johns.
When queer celebs are comfortable with themselves and also serve to deconstruct naff stereotypes, maybe people are realising it doesn’t have to be about ‘us and them’. Of course we’d be muppets to forget there’s still a lot of hate and bigotry out there. Sometimes you really can’t polish a turd. Just ask Tony Abbott.
But while our bent luminaries may not be brandishing banners outside Parliament House, their candour is admirable. When the public already considers them ‘normal’, news of their queerdom sometimes tells the simple folk that we’re people, just like them, only brighter.
Maybe, just maybe, they decided to Listen Without Prejudice after all.

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