Why is it difficult for gay men to come out in the music biz?

Last year, Swedish pop singer Darin announced that he is gay. Great news! But in the music biz, the work isn’t over.

By Michael Hartmann. June 18, 2021.

Last year, in posts on Instagram and Facebook, Swedish singer Darin announced that he is gay. Like George Michael and Ricky Martin, who waited a long time to tell the world about their sexual orientation, Darin also waited a long time. Why?

From his Facebook page:

Everyone in the world should be able to be proud and accepted for who they are. I know how difficult it can be. Took me a while, but I am proud to be gay. Happy pride!

I think Darin is super talented. I love his music. I was present during his concert in Oslo a few years ago. Like everyone around me, I had a great time.

As a gay man, I am happy that he came out, and I wish him the best.

That said, why haven’t we heard about this before? Like several years ago?

I think it’s strange that it takes male artists several years to come out as gay. Before they do, they have released many songs about love. All the time, it sounds obvious that they are singing to women.

Let’s talk about George Michael who died in 2016. Many suspected that he was gay, but he still waited many years before he confirmed our suspicions. He did it in a great way, I think, by releasing the song Outside.

From Wikipedia:

The song was Michael’s first single since he was arrested for engaging in a lewd act six months earlier by an undercover police officer in the public lavatory of the Will Rogers Memorial Park in Beverly Hills, California – an incident that prompted him to declare his homosexuality, which had been rumoured for some years but never publicly confirmed

Watch the video here:

And then there is Ricky Martin. Girls across the globe loved him. The gay communities across the world waited for him to come out. And he did. But not before his love songs – made for a mostly female audience – had made the record company a lot of money.

Can it be that parts of the music business prefer male artists to make a lot of money singing for a female audience before they are “allowed” to reveal their true sexual orientation?

If so, why is this still going on?

Unlike George Michael and Ricky Martin, Australian singer Troye Sivan has been openly gay for years, and it doesn’t seem to have damaged his career.

Let’s keep moving forward. Happy pride 2021!

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Michael Hartmann is a Norwegian music blogger based in Oslo.

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