Yesterday morning when I called out to Michael the news that David Bowie had died, I added "He was so important to the struggle for LGBT rights." I didn't see a lot of commentary on that in the first articles I read yesterday, but the sentiment has been more prevalent as the news sinks in.
I pulled out the one book of theology I own which discusses Bowie, Gerard Laughlin's rich and wild Alien Sex, and re-read the chapter on Bowie's film The Man Who Fell to Earth. This sentence leapt out at me--"the adoption of a queer persona not only enhanced the allure of Bowie's androgyny for would-be rebellious teenagers, but it helped to create a space in popular culture where even heterosexual men could, for a time, be relieved from the burden of normative heterosexuality."
The, an article today about how Bowie "sexually liberated us all." Excerpt:
In his refusal to label himself, there didn’t appear to be a cowardice, but rather an honesty and maturity around how unfixed, at least for him, the notion of sexuality was. That proved to be its own liberation, or at least freeing, moment for so many of every kind of sexual orientation and gender identity.
One about his being a style icon which includes, "Bowie also remained, fundamentally, an enigma—the best kind." And this comment on his final video:
You’ll find a meditation on love, loss, death, connection, and disconnection. And you’ll find an artist who ultimately survives, and endures.
As you watch it—perhaps baffled as many have been—you will also be bewitched, seduced, and charmed. You’ll feel all those things—the best, most enriching kind of sensory confusion and clash—that Bowie himself made us feel.
Finally, this author, put it succinctly:
He was a freak and a weirdo and a provocateur and an innovator and an icon.