Friday, September 10, 2010

Gay Anthems: Perfect for Coming Out

First up is the gay classic, the theme for gay clubs around the world:  “I Will Survive.”  I am posting two versions of this song.  Primarily, because my all-time favorite band in Cake, who did a wonderful version of “I Will Survive.”  In fact it is played at the end of the gay movie Mambo Italiano.  After the Cake version, is the classic Gloria Gaynor version.


Here is another one of my favorite singers, and a request by our friend fan of casey, John Barrowman.  In the first video he sings “I Am What I Am” from La Cage Aux Folles and in the second as the lovely Captain Jack from Torchwood - anything really does go, when the background music to the clip is John singing the Cole Porter classic, “Anything Goes.”


And of course, if I am going to do a post that is a soundtrack for coming out, how can I leave this song out?


image John Barrowman's memoir and autobiography, Anything Goes, was published in 2008 by Michael O'Mara Books. His sister, English professor and journalist Carole Barrowman, helped write the book using her brother's dictations. In 2009, Barrowman published I Am What I Am, his second memoir detailing his recent television work and musings on fame. In the book, Barrowman reveals that when he was just beginning his acting career, management sent a gay producer to talk to him. The producer told Barrowman that he should try to pretend to be heterosexual in order to be successful. Barrowman was offended by the incident, and it made him more aware of the importance of his role as a gay public figure: "One of my explicit missions as an entertainer is to work to create a world where no one will ever make a statement like this producer did to me to anyone who’s gay." To this end, Barrowman is active in his community supporting the issues that matter to him most. He worked with Stonewall, a gay rights organization in the UK, on the "Education for All" campaign against homophobia in the schools. In April 2008, the group placed posters on 600 billboards that read, "Some people are gay. Get over it!" Barrowman contributed his support to the project asking people to join him and "Help exterminate homophobia. Be bold. Be brave. Be a buddy, not a bully." In the same month, Barrowman spoke at the Oxford Union about his career, the entertainment industry, and gay rights issues. The event was filmed for the BBC program The Making Of Me, in an episode exploring the science of homosexuality.

image Cole Porter wrote hit Broadway musicals and many 20th-century pop standards, including the songs "You're The Top," "Night and Day" and "Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)." Porter was one of the greats of an era that included Iriving Berlin and Richard Rodgers. But Porter was no poor New York immigrant who lived the rags-to-riches dream -- he was the son of prosperous midwesterners, a star pupil at Yale and a privileged expatriate who lived the gay life in Europe while writing hit Broadway musicals. His first popular success came in 1929, with Fifty Million Frenchman. Between the 1930s and 1950s he became one of Broadway's biggest stars, writing music and lyrics for Anything Goes (1934), Kiss Me Kate (1948) and Can Can (1953), among others. His most famous songs include "I Get A Kick Out of You," "Too Darn Hot," "Begin the Beguine," and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." Since his death his songs have become part of the canon of American pop music, and stories of his private life -- his long "marriage of convenience" to wealthy divorcée Linda Lee Thomas and his well-known homosexual leanings -- have contributed to a continued interest in his career.

If you have any other suggestions for great coming out themes or great gay anthems, let me know.


fan of casey said...

Joe: I loved what you did with this post, a mix of entertainment, knowledge, and support for our team -- all in keeping with theme of your blog. And I'm not just saying that because I got a shout out - but hey, that was nice too. Thanks.

Bobby said...

Great Post! I love the Cake version too. ;-)

JoeBlow said...

@fan of casey--I am glad you liked it man, and I really do thank you for the suggestions. I am not a huge music aficionado. I know what I like and have pretty eclectic tastes, and even though I had thought about doing a similar post before, I'm glad you urged me on to do this one.

@Bobby--Cake is my all time favorite band. I never get tired of hearing their music. I really wish they were still together. It is always so fun and upbeat to listen too.