Added on 21-Jun-2003
Freddie Mercury has made a rare appearance in a gay magazine. This time, with the queen of the queens Cher on the cover, Freddie has been honored in the 10th anniversary issue of Bust: The Magazine For Women With Something To Get Off Their Chests.This is a significant occurrence not only because Freddie and the gay community had a notoriously strained if not hostile & dismissive relationship during his entire career extending several years beyond his passing but also because Bust is one of those rare lesbian periodicals which embraces and celebrates the uniqueness of their gay male brethren. Rarely do we get to hear members of the gay community acknowledge how they were personally affected by Queen’s music and Freddie’s unbridled desire to communicate through his art what he could not find the voice to communicate otherwise. Often when he is mentioned on gay sites his name is misspelled and even the most common details of Queen’s career are inaccurately noted.
In an article entitled Gay Men We Love, Elizabeth Ziff writes, “When I was 12, my life was changed by a band called Queen and a flamboyant, fantastic fag named Freddie Mercury. I didn’t know he was a fag at the time. (That knowledge came later, during his black-leather-and-mustache period.) What I did know was that his powerful writing could take me on a rock’n’roll journey. I bought every Queen album because they made kick-ass music with Freddie at the heart and soul of it all.”
“Every album was another adventure, always challenging, and Freddie was wildly sexy, sporting a huge package in his harlequin one-piece jumpsuit that I saw him perform live in circa 1977. He made me become a musician. He was an amazing talent. And he was a humongous fag. What took me so long to get it? The name of his band was Queen!”
“When he died of AIDS, I lowered my personal rock’n’roll flag to half-mast. I was saying goodbye to my first rock’n’roll god, and really, my first fag teacher.”
A rare and touching if not all too brief personal tribute.
Freddie is in good company as well. Amongst the other luminaries celebrated in this “Friends Of Dorothy” homage/fluff piece are Harvey Milk, Noel Coward, Sir Ian McKellen, Cole Porter, Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, Oscar Wilde, Robert Reed (dad on the Brady Bunch), Congressman Barney Frank, Divine (a moment of silence please…..), and Larry Kramer; an Oscar nominated screenwriter/novelist who wrote the book Faggots (“a book of major historical importance as the first contemporary novel to chronicle gay life with unsparing honesty and mild humor”) and who formed ACT UP, an activist group that screamed the reality of gay men dying of AIDS year after year to the firmly covered ears of a Reagan administration lead straight society until so many heterosexuals became infected with the disease that the epidemic could no longer be ignored. His rage & passion for his personal cause alienated him even from the gay community he defended due to his vocal criticism of gay organizations that allowed themselves to be crippled by the infamously apathetic and homophobic conservative republican administration at the time and he, along with Freddie, was one of my first childhood heroes.
Elsewhere in the magazine is Camille Pagila (infamous purveyor of popular culture, pseudo-bitch extraordinaire and another childhood favorite of mine), Cher in the cover story as interviewed by Ann Magnuson, an article by Mary Vivian Pearce (Princess Coo-Coo) on John Waters, an article by Deb Parker on the duties of a fag hag being split evenly between parties and funerals called “So Many Men, So Little Time”, an excerpt of fiction about some piece of entrepreneurial street trash who is “stalked” by a potential trick, and a Cosmo-style quiz designed to help hapless straight chicks determine whether or not their boyfriends are gay. Bless their little hearts.
Disclaimer: For the plethora of moronic homophobes who in the ultimately twist of cruel irony plague the Queen fan community, the word “fag” is used in this context – as it is within certain circles of the gay community - as a term of affection and is, previously unbeknownst to you, a subtle comment on the derogatory nature of the term which gets its de