Will Booker’s compilation of commentaries related to David Bowie, made me realize the sheer importance Bowie’s image to the LGBTQ community. I loved the way Vaniety Fair described him as “gender bending,” explaining Bowie’s significance in encouraging freedom of experession as well as gender fluidity. The idea of gender fluidity is often enough not explored, as we are held to specific standards society sets out for us. I find it truly inspiring how Bowie decided to bend all of those rules, and make his own. He wore glittery make up, and flamboyant clothing yet was married to a woman. He made it okay to look past certain set rules, and challenging them. As David Buckley summarizes, “Bowie’s gender bending was a direct affront to straight society, a society which was still, in general unwelcoming and intolerant of homesexuality.” Though I believe much has changed in the past thirty years, I still question that amount of tolerance that does exist for the LGBTQ community.
I find it incredibly interesting how David Bowie’s persona, was created in many ways due to the time. During a 1972 interview with Melody Maker, Bowie declared himself as gay. Yet in in an interview with Playboy set about four years later, he instead said he was bisexual. Bowie later revealed that though he does not ultimately regret that comments he had made, in America especially they meant something different. He became a representative of a group, something he never really wanted. He wanted to be a musician, an artist, and to ultimately be known for his art rather than his sexuality. It’s almost funny how some things seem to happen by accident. Bowie became the face of a movement, and even if it was not fully his intention the affect he had on the music industry, on art, on individuals all around the world will last forever. We have learned to love and accept David Bowie, not only for the fantastic music he had created, but for his persona, his passion, and his fearlessness.