Alex Blaze

Queer Music Friday - New Kids on the Block

Filed By Alex Blaze | February 11, 2011 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: new kids on the block, queer music

OMG, we're going straight to my childhood here. I remember how this song from the New Kids on the Block (whose member Jonathan Knight confirmed that he's out last week) was turned into some sort of anti-drug/safe schools/be good PSA for kids in Milwaukee (Milwaukee, hang tough!). Unfortunately, no one's put it on YouTube so I can't share that PSA with you all, but anyone who's in their late-20's who grew up in Milwaukee can feel free to confirm its existence in the comments.

I was so young and this was before my family moved to Indiana, so how the song actually sounds isn't part of that memory.

This is their most popular video on YouTube, "Summertime." It's also their most recent single, released in 2008.

And this is a recent performance of "Step by Step," which if you're at least 25 you'll remember.

Now I'm done being one of those people who pretends like the music of their childhood is better than what the kids are listening to today. If the merits of the New Kids on the Block aren't obvious, then I can't help you.


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Jon Knight is a friend of mine. We had dinner at my house the night before Tiffany spoke out on Bravo. Jon is 100 % on lgbt issues and politics and I do think he will be a great advocate as soon as he finds his voice.

BTW, we discussed the Summertime video. I was a bit upset that the other band members, two married, two divorced are bumping and grinding with girls in that video an Jonathan didn't even give a hint of gay. He told me that they tried to get him to grind with girls but he refused. I think we will be hearing a lot from him in an lbgt perspective in the near future.

Excellent post Alex, I feel young again.

Tom - I don't know Jonathan except through Teen Pop posters and blankets that I had as a kid. However, I disagree with you. I think Jonathan does have a voice on LGBT issues and it's on Twitter. He's been an advocate for equality and the Trevor project via Twitter for months. Sure, he didn't jump on the bandwagon to create an It Gets Better video or a PSA for Trevor Project yet, but he's leveraging a platform that most don't think to use, which is Twitter. I wrote about this on my personal blog but the day it posted, Jonathan came out via his blog on the NKOTB site. ( or maybe it was the day I wrote it before bloggers picked it up...)

Going back to Twitter, 47% of Twitter users are 13 - 25 years of age. This is an excellent target range to focus Trevor Project and It Gets Better messages to. (check out this awesome info graph showing Twitter demos: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/12/facebook-vs-twitter-comparing-social-demographics/68283/) Would Facebook be better? Maybe, but you'd have to be friends with Jonathan or you'd have to check and interact with the NKOTB Facebook fan page content regularly to have it appear in your News Feed. Because of this, I think Twitter is better to share these types of messages in order to reach more people and to encourage those people to take action on the content by re-tweeting, rather than to just LIKE it, which is all most people do on Facebook.

This was a long comment back but few things excite me more than when someone is leverage social media in a smart way to do good. I think Jonathan nailed it for the people who were watching on Twitter.