Alex Blaze

Michael Stipe Is 80% Gay

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 08, 2011 7:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Quote of the Day
Tags: bisexual, Michael Stipe, rem

"On a sliding scale of sexuality I'd place myself around 80-20, but I definitely prefer men to women. I had sex with, and enjoyed sex with, women until I met someone that I fell in love with, and who is now my boyfriend.[...]

I wasn't troubled or confused, but I just felt there wasn't a place for me. I hate and refuse to apply the term bisexual to myself. It doesn't seem appropriate. It feels like just another label."

--Michael Stipe of REM


Recent Entries Filed under Quote of the Day:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


If you read the full article, you learn that he identifies as "queer".

Another quote from the article:
"...when it's a slow news day I get dragged out of some closet again"

Yep. Sorry, dude.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/mar/06/michael-stipe-rem-collapse-interview

A relevant excerpt:
---
Back in the mid 1990s, when questioned in interviews about his sexuality, Stipe described himself as "an equal opportunity lech". That was after a periodof spiralling rumours that he was HIV positive. In 1999 a writer called Douglas A Martin published his first novel, Outline of My Lover, in which the main character describes a six-year relationship with the lead singer of a successful Athens-based rock group. Stipe and Martin had previously collaborated on a poetry compilation, The Haiku Year, and the latter later confirmed that the novel was indeed a fictional delineation of their relationship.

Then, in 2001, Stipe told Time magazine that he was "a queer artist". Last year he curated an exhibition to mark the 100th anniversary of Jean Genet's birth, which he tells me was "kind of like a queer history but from a peripheral point of view, but also about what might have happened if Genet and queer culture had impacted on me more". He does seem to be a whole lot more comfortable now with his sexuality. Was he troubled by it while he was growing up?

"Not troubled, no. Not confused either. But I felt there just wasn't a place for me. I hate and refuse to apply the term bisexual to myself. It doesn't seem appropriate. It feels like just another label. For a time I was conflicted by how I was represented, and then Aids came, and that's an era that has still to be spoken about in depth by people of my age. It was a very difficult time to be honest and frank about one's sexuality. And a very scary time for people like myself, who were not able to be tested anonymously without some concern. I mean, under Reagan, lest we forget, there was a time when they were talking about internment camps for people who were HIV positive. To this day I can't give blood to the Red Cross because I have sex with a man."

Would he still describe himself as "an equal opportunity lech". He smiles, then turns serious again. "On a sliding scale of sexuality I'd place myself around 80-20, but I definitely prefer men to women. I had sex with, and enjoyed sex with, women until I met someone that I fell in love with, and who is now my boyfriend. That's the only real news in the last 12 years, but when it's a slow news day I get dragged out of some closet again."

For the record, Stipe currently lives in a spacious Tribeca apartment with his partner, Thomas Dozol, an art photographer.

We talk for a while about the etymology of the word "queer", and I ask him why he finds it more acceptable than the word "gay". "I never identified with gay, that's all. I will always honour anyone who had to make different choices, then stand by them, and I would hope that honour would extend to me and my choices as well. I'm talking about how one chooses to define oneself, the community within which one feels comfortable. That's what it's about, really. It's the 21st century," he concludes. "A lot of younger people have a much more it-is-what-it-is approach to sexuality. The black and white binary approach just does not work. So you find the terms that make you most comfortable.

Michael can claim that he's not bisexual at all but he's just in denial.

He should just say how he's bisexual but more into men which is what he said before in previous interviews when the subject of his sexuality came up. Anthony Rapp the actor from Rent does this and describes him sexuality as being this way.

If he were a gay man he wouldn't be sexually attracted to women at all. Bisexuality doesn't mean only being equal or close to 50/50 like he assumes it does.

Unfortunately, the label "bisexual," to a lot of people, still means "sitting on the fence." It's silly, but "monogomous, gay leaning bisexual man" or "Bi-gay man" is just really complex and gay men and straight people are not going to understand this.