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    January 06, 2007

    My gay icon lies over the ocean

    Posted by: Chris

    Kylieminogue A headline in the Belfast Telegraph caught my eye this morning: "Kylie in queen sweep as gay icon of all time." According to a survey by U.K.-based OnePoll, the Australian pop singer was the biggest gay icon ever.

    Huh? What were those blokes smoking?

    Sexy songstress Kylie Minogue hit top of the gay pops yesterday after she nailed the greatest gay icon of all time accolade. The Aussie pop princess, who fought a difficult battle with breast cancer last year, pipped Country and Western legend Dolly Parton to the post for the esteemed title.

    A lot of people took a chance on pop supergroup ABBA, who came third. In fourth place was Wizard of Oz star Judy Garland, whose lifelong battles with drink, drugs and men, have assured her a permanent place in gay iconography.

    Dolly Holy Madonna, what a difference an ocean makes! I would venture to say that Kylie wouldn't show up in the Top 10, or maybe even the Top 100, gay icons of all time for us Yanks. I was pleased to see Dolly so high on the OnePoll list since she's a personal fave of this Southern boy. But gay icon Dolly? Maybe, though not No. 2 of all time.

    So let's put this to the test. Take a minute and vote in the thoroughly un-scientific survey I've added (via Vizu) just below my glamour shot to the right of the blog posts, and let's see how it turns out. Don't worry — voting won't navigate you off the site or register you with anything. And as soon as you vote, you can see the results so far.

    And maybe with your comments to this post, we can discuss what qualities make a great gay icon. Here are my top 5 characteristics:

    1.  Strong/independent female

    2.  Just the right level of bitchiness/attitude.

    3.  Overcame adversity with grace and strength.

    4.  Beautiful but not necessarily in a classic way; more in the way she carries herself.

    5.  Entertaining in a general sense, but with a level of camp that flies a bit under the mainstream radar.

    Oh — and of course — and immediately recognizable by only her first name…



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    1. KJ on Jan 6, 2007 12:00:54 PM:

      Well, my vote would be for Olivia (Newton-John), but to her credit, she's not bitchy enought to make the list. :-)

    1. Alan on Jan 6, 2007 12:19:50 PM:

      Your definition and list could be considered sexist.

      My #1 gay icons at the moment are that grown-up boy band Il Divo.

      If they are Simon Cowell's penance for the Spice Girls he is forgiven.

    1. Citizen Crain on Jan 6, 2007 12:31:48 PM:

      I couldn't agree more, KJ. O.N.J. has been a bit out of the limelight for awhile, but considering the '70s country queen-turned-'80s sexpot-turned indy film actress (meaning her lesbian turn in the gay classic "Sordid Lives"), and she beats out a latecomer like Kylie by a mile.

      As for sexist, Alan, I think someone needs to nibble on a chill pill. ;) The whole "gay icon" idea assumes we're talking gay men and the women they love. "Lesbian icon" would be something else, as would "gay male pin-ups" or "role models" or wherever you'd put Il Divo, of whom I'll plead complete ignorance!

    1. Andoni on Jan 6, 2007 1:24:15 PM:

      Thanks for the explanation of the lingo. I too wondered why a gay icon had to be a woman.

      From your pre-printed ballot, I chose Cher. But had it been a clean slate, I would have voted for Liz. That's Taylor for you young ones.

    1. Alan on Jan 6, 2007 3:15:03 PM:

      Sorry Chris, I've always defined icon as someone to be looked up to and adored. If you're going to limit it to the ladies then let's not leave out Bette and Patti. And though I wouldn't vote for them I suppose Oprah and Rosie would also have to be thrown in the mix.

      For your edification Il Divo is an adult, international version of a boy band created by Simon Cowell (the man behind American Idol which I'm sure you don't watch but have probably heard of) who sing a hybrid known as popera or crossover classical. Their last 2 CDs have debuted on the American Pop Charts at #1 and #2 respectively and their Christmas collection was the best selling Christmas CD in America in 2006. They rarely sing in English although they have done versions of Nights In White Satin, Have You Really Ever Loved A Woman, Hero, Without You and Unchained Melody in languages other than English.

      They are also the current sweethearts of PBS fundraising.

      Beware Chris - all work, sex, love and dancing makes Chris a dull boy. LOL

    1. Citizen Crain on Jan 6, 2007 7:04:10 PM:

      OK I can see Andoni's point with Liz and Alan's point with Bette. But Patti? Do you mean LaBelle? Also-ran, unless we were picking the top divas. Then her "New Attitude" (meaning her personality, not the song) would put her in the Top 10.

      Hate to disappoint, Alan, but I've been addicted to "American Idol" for several years now. It was #1 on my TiVo, a highly coveted spot, just ahead of "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy," and "The Real World."

      Maybe that'll be our next poll. What's #1 on your TiVo (or must-see-TV) list. I'm dying on the vine down here with no TiVo. And all the American programs are several months old. So I rely on iTunes to get me through the week. :)

    1. KJ on Jan 6, 2007 9:07:40 PM:

      Chris, thanks for the lightweight topic. We definitely need that from time to time.

      Guilty pleasure -- American Idol. My partner has decided he is very done with it.

      If Bette had been on the list, and I think that she meets the criteria with that bawdy sense of humor, great voice and camp ("In these shoes?"), she probably would have gotten my vote.

      As is, I voted for Dolly. She doesn't meet the bitchy criteria, but has as much attitude as bust. I love her spontaneity. While not as gifted musically as other performers, she knows exactly how to maximize what she has. I love the song from Trans America ("Travelin' Through), which should have won the Academy Award, and her duet with Brad Paisley ("When I Get Where I'm Going") is spot-on and very moving.

      I think I'm enjoying this topic just a bit too much, and will sign off before there's nothing left of me but stereotype.

    1. jimbo on Jan 9, 2007 5:02:38 PM:

      Kylie Rules. Any other nominee is pure blasphemy.

    1. mika on Nov 12, 2008 12:12:55 PM:

      Kylie makes the world go round!!! she is my Diva..she is cute and divine ..i love her..America dont know what is missing...whatever you "yanks" believe you will never be able to realise what you are missing..The BIGGEST SHOW WOMAN of the UNIVERSE!! ALL OF HERE CONCERTS ARE BREATHE TAKING..and maybe one of the most glamorous women of the cenury!! she is 1,52 cms and spinns the world.woooooo

    1. mika on Nov 12, 2008 12:18:39 PM:

      whatever you voted..kylie is No1..so dont look for explanations..she is just glamorous..thats all..
      Madonna take a step back!!!it's time for fresh blood in pop music!and kylie is the one..wait for the next album..huge comeback is in the air!

    1. Vimax on Sep 26, 2009 3:18:55 PM:

      I'm not a gay, but the words from this blog header say everything. Rita Mae Brown is great.

    1. Best on Mar 15, 2010 12:08:56 PM:

      I would say rather than strong, she needs to be powerful. The icon doesn't really need to be beautiful but she needs to have a style that differentiates herself from others.

    1. viagra online on May 27, 2010 1:51:02 PM:

      the gay look at Madonna and Kylie Minogue as a role model because of the morale of the bench toward gay artists and femininity

    1. Eric on Oct 27, 2010 6:46:14 PM:

      I think she looks great.

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    1. H Miracle on Feb 24, 2011 1:58:47 PM:

      Kylie is OK by me but she is no Madonna.

    1. Tayna on May 13, 2011 12:27:04 AM:

      She has that gaunt, slightly androgynous David Bowie look about her. And I agree that she is very talented.

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