David Bowie Didn’t Make Me Gay

But he no doubt helped me discover my non-binary self

Lsjaffee (Writer, Educator, Over-Thinker)
Prism & Pen

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Louise McLaren, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

A friend recently gave me a Barnes & Noble gift certificate. Perusing the bookshelves, I chose David Bowie Made Me Gay, whose author Darryl W. Bullock gave a nice testimonial quote to my 2022 book about how Record Store Day led to vinyl being the most improbable technological comeback of the 21st century.

From its title, I thought Darryl’s book was another Bowie biography passed off as memoir. But the subtitle — 100 Years of LGBTQ Music — revealed that it’s more of a reference book, similar to Victor Russo’s The Celluloid Closet, a study of homosexuality in movies first published in 1982. Even though I wasn’t gay and never sexually attracted to men, I bought Russo’s book out of curiosity when it was published, since I studied sociology and film theory in college. By my late 20s, my friends included several gay men with whom I shared mutual interests such as music, not sexual attraction.

I am more of a musicologist than a cineaste, so Darryl’s book provided a historical context that helped the non-binary individual who would emerge three decades later better understand why certain music has moved me since I was a kid. One of my earliest memories is taking a bath in the mid-1960s singing along to Petula Clark’s “Downtown,” which must have been on the…

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Lsjaffee (Writer, Educator, Over-Thinker)
Prism & Pen

Marching to the beat of a different drummer. Non-binary human. No tolerance for racism, injustice & the patriarchy. lsjaffee@gmail.com https://larryjaffee.com