I trekked down from college in Rhode Island with my best female friend, the only person I had yet come out to. I was 21, intrigued, and terrified, with an "I'm not like every other gay" chip on my shoulder. I wore a baggy button-down to the club to prove it. Nonetheless, there we were amidst a sea of hundreds of shirtless gay men, who were writhing to the thump-thump-thump of the dance floor. At The Roxy I felt like a kid in a candy store, but on board an alien spaceship. I had never hidden my love for dance music, but my sexuality was another story.
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50 Best Gay Songs to Celebrate World Pride Month All Year Long
For anyone that's done their homework, there should be no question that the history of dance music is unmistakably queer. Originating in the '80s, it's a well-known fact that disco — and house later on — got its start in queer nightlife. As dance music began to spread and evolve, making its way to Britain where it was embraced by the youth counterculture, morphing into rave, dance music's queer origins often got jettisoned in the interest of a more mainstream appeal. Today, more and more artists, collectives and DIY spaces are making a concerted effort to diversify their dance floors and properly honor the genre's queer trailblazers. When I was growing up as a fan of electronic dance music, I struggled to find any role models or representation of gay people in the scene.
Sylvester James Jr. Primarily active in the genres of disco , rhythm and blues , and soul , he was known for his flamboyant and androgynous appearance, falsetto singing voice, and hit disco singles in the late s and s. Born in Watts, Los Angeles , to a middle-class African-American family, Sylvester developed a love of singing through the gospel choir of his Pentecostal church.