Last Christmas

Cover to first solo album “Faith”

I Want Your Sex

Album cover with George Michael and that other guy.

The 80s was a great decade for music. There were many great musicians and songs from that decade that I love, but George Michael was by far my favorite. I loved all his music from his time in Wham! to his solo career. From the controversial “I Want Your Sex” to “Monkey” (one of my top two favorites after “Faith”). Though the only song I had really associated with Wham as a kid was “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, songs like “Freedom” I associated only with him. I can’t even remember the other guys name in Wham (Andrew Ridgeley, I always have to Google it.) His music however wasn’t the only thing that had a major effect on me…

 

 

In the 80s, I was so deep in the closet I might as well have been in fucking Narnia. I didn’t really know what Gay was, only that my Dad and the Village People were Gay. I just knew there was something I liked about looking at men, especially when they were taking off their clothes or the way they dressed. I used to watch bodybuilding competitions ’cause they guys were almost completely naked, or talk shows when they had strippers on, but I didn’t care about the women stripping just the men.

At the time I didn’t realize it, but George Micheal was my first crush, celebrity or otherwise. From his sexy singing voice, to his sexy dance moves. I also had no inklings that he was Gay (or had any clue that he was British), but looking back it seems rather obvious (and obvious that I was in serious denial about myself).

Along with his great music, he had some of the best videos in 80s and thankfully I had MTV (back when it showed music videos) most of the decade. The video for “Faith” had the greatest impact on me as far my attraction for him goes. From the stubble, the leather motorcycle jacket, to the tight blue jeans and cowboy boots, things I still find attractive on a man to this day. It along with “Monkey” also showed him moving his sexy ass.

 

 

Freedom

In the 90s, my senior year to be exact, I finally came to terms with my sexuality. Though it would be a few more years before I came out to anyone else. While George Micheal came out to the world about that same time I did, he had seem to come terms with his sexuality sooner and having his first Gay relationship in the early 90s.

When I was still immature and new to being out, I wrongly judged George for the “infamous” bathroom incident that lead to his coming out. He was from a time when it was much harder to find another guy to be with and hooking up in restrooms and parks was the easiest way to find someone. I came out at a time that the Internet was becoming popular and I was able to chat with other Gay guys in North Carolina using IRC (with the client mIRC (which FYI apparently still exists)

I had met a lot of my friends this way, and my first boyfriends. This also lead to me coming out to my parents. At the time we shared the same computer (although it was in my bedroom because we got some loud ass cockatiels and put them in a cage in the living room.) As a result my stepdad saw some of my correspondence with my first boyfriend. I had heard the horror stories of people coming out and being thrown out or committing suicide and feared the worse. Fortunately I was more upset than my parents, who sort of already knew and had no problem with my sexuality.

Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On me

Celebrities like George Micheal had it harder than most of today’s celebrities when it came to coming out. They had to deal with the stigma of AIDs and how coming out may have affect their career. George had it worse, because while he loved making music and performing, he hated what came with being a celebrity.

Ironically he hated the image I loved in the “Faith” video and burns the guitar, jukebox and jacket in “Freedom ’90” (around the 2:15 mark). For a long time he wouldn’t appear in his own music videos, having his words being lip-synced by models. This, with his anxiety, probably led to his issues he had with drugs. That coupled with the lost of his first true love, Anselmo Feleppa, to AIDs in the 90s and his mother passing shortly after.

 

Aside from being a great singer with sexy moves, he also had a passion for writing his own songs (which is a rarity today, especially among pop stars). He wrote “Jesus to a Child” as a dedication to his first love, Anselmo. With tongue-in-cheek he wrote the song “Outside” as a protest against cops entrapping people shortly after the incident in a public restroom that lead to his coming out (and dressing up as a sexy ass cop in the video!)

 

George Micheal as a sexy ass cop from the “Outside” video.

 

 

In an 2004 interview with Oprah when asked what he do if people don’t approve of him being Gay “I don’t need the approval of people who don’t approve of me.” Which is something everyone should aspire to.

This past Christmas, the world lost a great musician, songwriter, as well as a humanitarian (one that didn’t feel the need to brag.) The sun has gone down on his Last Christmas.

 

George Michael RIP 1963-2016

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