Sunday, October 19, 2008

NEW Interview with Boy George

Recently, my buddy Sean Horlor (who writes the daily blog Up Your Alley for Canada's premiere gay news site interviewed pop superstar Boy George. Due to his legal problems Boy George wasn't able to tour the U.S. but was able to perform here in Vancouver, Canada. It's a terrifc interview. Below are some excerpts.

Sean Horlor writes:
Can you imagine how different Boy George’s life would be if Culture Club had become pop music’s equivalent to the Rolling Stones? The top-grossing tours, a fan base that spans several generations, drugs, sex, scandals and some good old-fashioned rock and roll…

Sure Boy George would be relatively similar – he’d still be that in-your-face, cheeky asshole who made gender bending mainstream – and he’d still probably have a rap sheet longer than the average person’s work resume. And he’d still be hot, in that hyper-intelligent, I-don’t-fucking-care-what-you-think-about-me kinda way.

Let’s cut the make believe crap and fast forward to the present.

Boy George is hot and he still doesn’t care what you think about him. Despite Culture Club dissolving in the late 80s, Boy George continues to be revered as a cultural icon, especially for queers, and deserves the title, though wears it reluctantly.

"I Don't Want To Be Normal" - A Midnight Interview with Boy George

Sean Horlor: A queer author I know regularly tells her audience that overcoming shame is the biggest thing that motivates her as an artist. Do you relate to that statement?

Boy George: Shame? Yes. I think that the most important person that you have to get comfortable with is yourself. I think if you’re the kind of homosexual that blends in then the world is a safe place. But if you wear your homosexuality on your sleeve, as I do, it’s a whole different story. I always think you should love yourself. That’s the most important thing you can do before anyone else can love you. Be proud of yourself and love what you are. There’s no better time to be gay than now.

Sean Horlor: When you think back to the 80s and what you were doing then, especially the gender bending, do you feel like you opened doors for recording artists like Annie Lennox or Marilyn Manson?

Boy George: Annie Lennox isn’t gay. I feel like I opened doors for the disenfranchised. I personally felt like I spoke to people who felt outside of the outside. Gay culture is hostile and excludes those who are outside the gay mainstream. My message was to anyone who was different. They have a place.

Sean Horlor: You’re facing criminal charges and were denied entry into the US this summer. Do you think police and legal authorities target you because you’re famous and reportedly into kinky sex?

Boy George: We’re all kinky, but no, I don’t. I think it’s more of a personal thing. If you have problems in your life and you’re a public person, it’s a story. It’s no more than that. But what happens in the media is that those things come to define who you are. Those things don’t define who I am, they’re just things that happened. The trouble with negative press is that people come to believe that your life is one dimensional.

Sean Horlor: And what about your recent legal problems then?

Boy George: Nobody is a headline, nobody is a sound byte. Britney Spears isn’t a sound byte and neither am I.

Sean Horlor: How do you feel about your role as a queer advocate?

Boy George: Let’s put it this way: I don’t think life should be about sexuality. I think it should be about the right to choose. I remember years ago meeting with [journalist] John Walters and he said something that made me laugh. He said, If gay people getting married annoys Christians, it’s worth it. We all should have the right to do that. The key thing is to be happy with who you are and celebrate your difference.

Sean Horlor: What is your legacy?

Boy George: I feel like there are people who were affected by what I did and I feel that there were others who thought I was a gimmick, a dangerous gimmick or sporting my look for manipulation. There are a lot of straight people that want to conform and others—gay men included—who think that drag queens are freaks. The gay revolution was started by drag queens. They are our suffragettes. They gave us the freedom we have today.

Read more of "I Don't Want To Be Normal" - A Midnight Interview with Boy George here.