Shiny, Happy, Gay People

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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:
├óΓé¼┼ôThere are songs I wrote in the past that were gender-specific. ├óΓé¼╦£7 Chinese Brothers├óΓé¼Γäó was about me breaking up a couple├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥and then dating both of them, a man and a woman, which is a terrible thing to do, but I was young and stupid├óΓé¼┬ª.At the time I was writing about what I knew, and what I knew was myself. I found out I├óΓé¼Γäóm not that kind of writer. I think I├óΓé¼Γäóm better when I write about things that are not me.”

Mar 17, 2008 12:54pm PDT

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