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Shiny, Happy, Gay People

| Filed under: Gay Gay GayLGBT

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R.E.M. have a new album coming out. The boys old men grace the cover of the new issue of Spin magazine, and frontman Michael Stipe spends some time talking about his own coming out.

On His Sexuality:
“It was super complicated for me in the ’80s. I was totally open with the band and my family and my friends and certainly the people I was sleeping with. I thought it was pretty obvious.”

Going public was a little easier when he realized it might inspire people to change their views about homosexuality:
“I didn’t always see that. But I see now, of course that’s the case, of course that’s needed. I’d just never felt strongly enough about a particular relationship to say, ‘Yeah, he’s my boyfriend, that is what it is.’ Now I recognize that to have public figures be very open about their sexuality helps some kid somewhere out there.”

On his songwriting:
“There are songs I wrote in the past that were gender-specific. ‘7 Chinese Brothers’ was about me breaking up a couple—and then dating both of them, a man and a woman, which is a terrible thing to do, but I was young and stupid….At the time I was writing about what I knew, and what I knew was myself. I found out I’m not that kind of writer. I think I’m better when I write about things that are not me."

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84 comments to “Shiny, Happy, Gay People”

  1. hgdf says – reply to this


    1

    uhh…ok??

  2. Shalynn says – reply to this


    2

    1st

  3. chris says – reply to this


    3

    1st

  4. Marlee says – reply to this


    4

    HEY! i was actually FIRST for once!!!
    [i was hgdf]
    YAY!

  5. hector says – reply to this


    5

    top ten

  6. NICHOLAS says – reply to this


    6

    worst

  7. barny says – reply to this


    7

    haha knew it

  8. ijsi says – reply to this


    8

    wtf, he's gay? oh :)

  9. Robin says – reply to this


    9

    possible first!

  10. Michelle says – reply to this


    10

    FIRST!

  11. Lola says – reply to this


    11

    first

  12. noneurbuziness says – reply to this


    12

    FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. mary kate says – reply to this


    13

    FIRST BITCHES!

  14. zooeli says – reply to this


    14

    is anyone really surprised by this….really?

  15. noneurbuziness says – reply to this


    15

    FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. holly says – reply to this


    16

    haw haw

  17. Carmen says – reply to this


    17

    30th?

  18. john says – reply to this


    18

    Michael Stipe is the opposite of what Perez is, a gay who's respected and succesful. Perez is gay but in general hated and despised, so single that you can even wonder if a masturbation-only gay has the right to call himself gay.

  19. meredith says – reply to this


    19

    interesting.
    why are the comments being deleted??

  20. biq says – reply to this


    20

    first? :P

  21. Dr. H says – reply to this


    21

    I think it is a good thing that he has elected to be more straightforward about his sexuality. He will help a lot of confused kids realize that being gay is not a stigma. Good for him.

  22. beeee says – reply to this


    22

    i love them!

  23. Everybody Hurtz says – reply to this


    23

    YES for a southern college band it probably did suck for Stipe!

  24. laura says – reply to this


    24

    good for him :D

  25. Spaniard Guy says – reply to this


    25

    FIRST! :)

  26. cambel says – reply to this


    26

    Oh Please, that coward used to say that he THOUGHT he was bisexual. What a tool.

  27. yuckie says – reply to this


    27

    yayyyy

  28. Erin says – reply to this


    28

    Who cares!!!!

  29. T Town Tommy says – reply to this


    29

    I dont care if he bends Rush Limbaugh over his couch in his own home. REM will never fail to disappoint

  30. Mona says – reply to this


    30

    Perez,
    For all of your amazing qualities you seem to have a problem with age. You constantly harp on about ageism. When you get older, it will probably be really hard on you. All I can say is that it, (growing older), happens to everyone and IS a part of life. Please do yourself a favor Perez and stop being so ageist! Why don't you try bolstering those people; artists, musicians, actors who are getting older and praise them for their longevity instead of deprecating them for their age. Not cool, Perez, not cool!

  31. Missouri2 says – reply to this


    31

    Well said, Mona! Jeez Mario. Lurves ya ass, but don't be mean.

  32. Reality says – reply to this


    32

    Homo says what?

  33. THEY LOOK GREAT says – reply to this


    33

    ESPECIALLY
    MICHAEL
    STIPE…
    (REALLY)…
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    ..

    ….
    …..

  34. spontaneous combustion**.*.* says – reply to this


    34

    Re: Mona – YEAH

  35. LISA says – reply to this


    35

    …………………..Re: Mona – ………………………
    .
    .
    .
    .UH HUH

  36. Youre gay says – reply to this


    36

    Mike Stipe needing to "come out" is about as necesary as Clay Aiken needing to as well.

    Whats next Ryan Seacrest is going to admit he is gay too?

    NO KIDDING

  37. themilliondollarprofle says – reply to this


    37

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    themilliondollarprofile*com IS GIVING AWAY 1,000,000 DOLLARS! LOG ONTO themilliondollarprofile*com AND REGISTER IF YOU WANT TO WIN!!!!!! ITS FREE AND EASY SO DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!!!!!
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  38. elkie says – reply to this


    38

    If you've heard one REM song, you've heard them all.

  39. Jen says – reply to this


    39

    Yay! Michael Stipe ROCKS! (and so does REM). :D

  40. Matty says – reply to this


    40

    REM is one of the best bands ever…Losing my religion is an awesome song, but can anyone tell me what they are talking about in that song? lol….and i laughed when he said 'and of course people i was sleeping with knew i was gay'…obviously! lol..but Go Michael Stipe, your an awesome artist!

  41. CCP says – reply to this


    41

    I have been an R.E.M. fan for many, many years and I'm so excited about a new album! I must say, I'm sad to finally hear those words from Michael Stipe. I've always had a little crush :)

  42. me says – reply to this


    42

    I knew this for years. When I was in college we took a road trip to Athens, Ga. Late 80's and there was some drama about his girl friend finding out. It was before they really got big and we met them. Cool times.

  43. lou-lou says – reply to this


    43

    great freakin' band!! great freakin' picture too!!

  44. kendra kinsey says – reply to this


    44

    Wow didn't know he was gay. There were signs of course, but I didn't know. Too bad people are too afraid of these things that they feel the need to hide them.

  45. Veronica says – reply to this


    45

    Great band, and good people, no matter what Michael's sexuality is.
    I hope it helps other kids to know that they are important and they matter in this world

  46. Shelly says – reply to this


    46

    I love Michael and I love the band. I'd go straight or gay for him any day of the week! Can't hear the new album.

  47. Gaycause says – reply to this


    47

    No, he's straight.

  48. tr says – reply to this


    48

    yheah so i saw rem at langerado last weeks
    suckerrrsss

  49. cutie says – reply to this


    49

    I LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. Who didn't know! suprise, NOT says – reply to this


    50

    What blind person on the planet didn't know???? they all look awful too.

  51. xxx says – reply to this


    51

    One of the most talented groups ever. Love their work.

  52. enak says – reply to this


    52

    I lived in athens for years and you would always see him around town with a teenage boy

  53. lynnf says – reply to this


    53

    Love, love LOVE REM!!!!

    I'll never tire of them. Can't wait for the next tour!

  54. Kay says – reply to this


    54

    I spy Panic at the disco :D

  55. jomamma says – reply to this


    55

    like duh. we always knew that his aids patient look was a slight giveaway.

  56. GAY MUCH? says – reply to this


    56

    It WAS SOOOOOOO obvious! My gaydar went off the charts whenever that dude was on tv!

  57. Teresa says – reply to this


    57

    Anybody who lived in Athens, Georgia, in the 80s & 90s knows Michael Stipe is not just gay, but an absolute flaming, promiscuous queen! EVERY gay man in Athens during that period of time who wasn't severely deformed slept with Michael Stipe! I knew this guy who was dating Stipe during the "Green" tour….Stipe flew him all over the world to see him on weekends. I used to see Stipe at this bar called The Globe just about every time I went there. He was a pompous ass. But, if you walked around the corner to another bar called the Georgia Bar, you would see the other three guys (Peter Buck, Bill Berry & Mike Mills) and they were the nicest, most normal guys you would ever meet. And from what I understand, they still are. I have also *heard* through the rumor mill that Stipe is HIV+. But I haven't heard anything official yet. I hope it's not true. I mean, the guy may be a prick, but he doesn't deserve that…nor do the hundreds of men he has slept with, either!

  58. Looks Like to Me! says – reply to this


    58

    Re: jomamma – Then that MUST mean your mother's a WHORE!

  59. Malinda says – reply to this


    59

    OMG- I thought the guy on the left was Clay Aiken!

  60. Jon says – reply to this


    60

    Stipe is 100% irrelevant. When he was famous he could have come out—but No!–he Stayed in The Fucking Closet with the rest of the Hollywood phonies. Michael, go away.
    P.S. We all knew when we heard you and Natalie Merchant rode on your own little bus together on tour. yuck! You Should Have Stood Up For Gay People When You Had The Chance. NOT NOW when you are nobody!!!
    And when the hell was SPIN relevant?? In the last century???

  61. j BLANK of FLATPOINT says – reply to this


    61

    duh…? didn't he come out like 10 years ago? now that they have a new record coming out he has to come out? WHY NOT 25 YEARS AGO WHEN PEOPLE WERE LISTENING? and of course he has to mention he was bi .REMEMBER WHEN ELTON WAS BI? HA.

  62. 4SKNFN says – reply to this


    62

    wow think of all the 50 year old sexually confused closet queens he'll be helping now.thanks mike

  63. Cecily says – reply to this


    63

    Its always been obvious that Michael is gay or bi altleast. So for anyone to bitch over the fact that he hasnt spelled it out is just idiotic. I`m straight and I havent spelled it out for anyone. I don`t have to come out as straight. So why the hell do gay people have to anounce, to an ignorant audience what their prefrence is? Gay/straight who cares!? Who he sleeps with is his bussiness. He doesnt have to be a activist. He doesnt represent the entire gay community, nor should he have to. As long as he is true to himself and those around him, the rest of us should STFU!
    I applaud the people who come out and make a statement. But I it shouldnt be a must. I think being gay is normal, therefore its not something that has to be made a big deal about.

  64. jimmyjazz says – reply to this


    64

    GAY? I DIDN'T KNOW THAT. ANOTHER REASON TO LIKE THEM

  65. Darnell says – reply to this


    65

    Didn't even know he was gay. I'm not gay but Stipe is an interesting creature. If I were gay, I'd probably find him attractive.

  66. rita says – reply to this


    66

    greatest band ever!
    by the way, this isn't michael officially coming out, kids. hasn't he been candid about his sexuality for the last few decades? also, i'm pretty sure he doesn't like to be labeled as gay, straight, or bisexual. he has dated both men and women (but does prefer men).

  67. GEEZ LOUISE says – reply to this


    67

    Re: jimmyjazz – BABY! I KNOW I'M AN "OLDER" WOMAN BUT MIKEY'S BEEN OUT (AT LEAST PEEKING OUT) FOR YEARS! MY BROTHER WAS LICKING THE TV SCREEN WHEN R.E.M. HIT MTV IN THE 80'S! MAJOR TEEN CRUSH! NOT TO MENTION MANY, MANY OTHER INFLUENTIAL GROUPS THINK THEY'RE THE GREATEST BAND EVER. AHHHHHHHHH THE KNOWLEDGE OF AGE!

  68. mealuvstipe says – reply to this


    68

    I love Michael Stipe, gay or not. I am 80's gal and he was the coolest thing to come to college rock radio. If you are reading this, Michael, just know I adore you.

  69. Cracka says – reply to this


    69

    I knew he was gay after their first song…..

    does it matter that he smokes pole? no….

    The band makes good music…..

  70. fried chicken says – reply to this


    70

    I fuckin' loved "7 Chinese Brothers"! Does he think it was mundane or something? It's still very real, and great to croon along to. Now I know who the sweet short-haired boy and girl in the song were, and why he felt pain for them. It's from the Reckoning album, which also contained their first breakout hit," So.Central Rain(I'm Sorry)", another gorgeous tune. It's some of my favvorite REM stuff. Don't let him say it didn't work! From an early 80's fan from the South, please don't say you're not that kind of writer. Maybe not now, but then, there was no one better.

  71. jaydawg says – reply to this


    71

    Athens, GA, is not your typical little southern town. I lived
    there during the early 80's (probably saw REM, 100 times).
    I am sure Michael was very happy there.

  72. meg says – reply to this


    72

    R.E.M. = Rear Entry Men

  73. Athenslocal says – reply to this


    73

    Re: Teresa – You are wrong on so many levels. You know nothing

  74. 9-9 says – reply to this


    74

    FUCK YEAH, R.E.M.

  75. geeze wtf!! says – reply to this


    75

    what's with you, perez? you're always talking smack on artists that KNOW how to make music. instead u listen to ppl like RISKAY. seriously, clean yur ears. listen to R.E.M and RADIOHEAD [remember them? how u dissed them in a another blog]

  76. kitteh says – reply to this


    76

    YAAAYY r.e.m!!
    Nice.

  77. art says – reply to this


    77

    Why is it every fucking article that gets written about R.E.M. makes a big issue out of Stipe being gay. It's 2008 people! Why couldn't this have been about how great the new music is? It's an awesome release and they have been busting ass to put it together. They have given free shows like mad, performed at small venues and going out of their way to give people great music to listen to. R.E.M. will always be number one in my book, no matter who they're fucking! That point is moot! Peter Buck got a divorce last year, Mike is successfully raising his kid, and Bill Berry has a child now. There! You know all you need to know about their personal lives. Go buy the new release and just be happy that there's decent music to listen to without any cursing, dissing or hating bullshit on it!
    Shiny? Happy?
    You betcha!!!

  78. jenbunny says – reply to this


    78

    come on, everyone's known for 15 or 20 years that stipe is a big honking gaylord who's never apologized about it. years ago, he was on charlie rose and said what he really is in terms of his sexuality is a selfish control freak who's unable to have a meaningful relationship with anyone. he also said that that he wouldn't have spoken publicly if it hadn't been for his friendships with kurt cobain and courtney love. i like him, his mates, and their music to the extreme. oh yeah, and he's gaunt because he's a serious no-meat guy. hey michael, try the chicken salad!

  79. Kdog says – reply to this


    79

    Michael first came out in the press over ten years ago (and several other times since then). He's never hidden in the closet. He's awesome. This article is not him "finally" coming out. It's a reflection on how that old expereince was for him.

    Can only assume that people who didn't already know this weren't alive or literate in the 90's. Or are just plain stupid.

  80. Ura Cuntsucker says – reply to this


    80

    Re: meg
    MEG=MIND EMPTY GIRL

  81. alex says – reply to this


    81

    All those times in Athens when used to see Stipe and Brad Pitt together, does it mean Brad will need to come out as well.

  82. UGADawgs says – reply to this


    82

    I wonder if they'll do a comeback show in Athens, I'd go. Although I'd be more excited if Dayroom did a comeback show at the GA Theatre!!

  83. diva says – reply to this


    83

    awsome, iv really missed these guys..

  84. Ddiggitydave says – reply to this


    84

    Way to go Stipey! Now I KNOW you were singing all those beautiful lyrics for me, after all…Now I am going to blast "Life's Rich Pageant" and shake my ass proudly for being a fellow gay man…fuck you, small minded haters!!!