circle gets a square



On the way home tonight, Tessa asked when was the last time we had an openly covert homosexual bandleader, you know, the kind of lead singer that was so gay that he almost wasn’t gay anymore. She thought it was Boy George, and I made an argument for the Smiths, but we both agreed that there is just no space in our culture for the don’t-ask-don’t-tell flamboyancy that saturated our youth.

I mean, let’s take two people – Charles Nelson Reilly and Paul Lynde:

CharlesNelsonReilly.jpg PaulLynde.jpg

All throughout my childhood, it never even occurred to me that they might be gay. And this was after 13 years of Lynde’s gossamer-thinly-veiled fairy jokes on “Hollywood Squares,” and Reilly? He was one Roman concubine away from exploding all over the set of “Match Game ’74.”


I miss those times, the

0 thoughts on “circle gets a square

  1. Cyn

    I equated all of those flamboyant personalities to that of being clowns, that’s how naive I was. To me they were no different than Red Skelton, Charlie Chaplin, Rowan and Martin and the gang from Laugh In. Their slapstick gayness was funny and over the top.
    Part of me hopes they were doing it on purpose to see what they could get away with. “Look at how gay we are, and you people just think we’re funny. The jokes on you”.

  2. M

    I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read your blog today. I have had a similar debate with my husband on several occasions. Each time starts out with him observing how interesting it is that Bob Mould of Sugar/Husker Du is the only openly gay frontman for a rock band that he can think of, practically inviting a challenge from anyone listening. Names that you have identified get mentioned, and he proceeds to raise various objections as to why they don’t count (not a real “band” or more pop than rock, etc. His most mealy-mouthed objection was to Morrissey and was something along the lines of “Hasn’t that guy been celibate for like a decade?” implying that OPENLY gay must mean ACTIVELY gay.) We always get hung up on Michael Stipe: he can’t object that he’s the front man of an actual rock band, but we get stuck on whether he’s actually out of the closet. (I say yes; I swear I saw an interview with him years ago where when asked about his sexuality, he said something to the effect of “C’mon. I spent most of the Green tour in a dress and eyeliner. What else do I have to do?” but no one we’re with can ever confirm or deny for sure so that’s sort of it.) Of course, my husband was also in denial about the homosexuality of Rudy Galindo (he’s a figure skater for chrissake!). For some reason, it offended him that everyone would ASSUME that he

  3. Sean
    Rock band REM’s frontman Michael Stipe has revealed he is gay, ending speculation about his sexual orientation.
    The 41-year-old singer told Time magazine he was a “queer artist” who had been in a relationship with a man for three years.
    His revelation comes after years of speculation about his sexuality and false rumours that he had Aids.
    Stipe told the magazine he believed it was the right time to reveal his sexuality.
    “I was being made to be a coward about it, rather than someone who felt like it really was a very private thing,” he told the magazine.
    Stipe said he had been in a relationship with “an amazing man” for about three years, adding that he was not a celebrity

  4. Ian

    The picture that accompanies that BBC story on Stipe is one of the most insidious inside jokes ever played by a BBC staffer. I wonder how many thousands of pics they had to go through in order to find one with his hand doing that.

  5. Bud

    What shocks me most about my previous entry is my uncanny misspelling of the word resemblance.
    Oh well, I’m a lover, not a speller. Can I say that publicly?


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