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Music History Events: LGBT

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April 5, 2017 At age 73, Barry Manilow comes out as gay.More

March 18, 2017 Katy Perry accepts the National Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign for her work supporting LGBTQ causes. In her speech, she admits that she did more than just kiss a girl.More

September 8, 2016 Lance Bass of *NSYNC hosts Finding Prince Charming on the Logo network, the first all-gay dating show.

April 8, 2016 Bruce Springsteen cancels an upcoming show in Greensboro, North Carolina, in protest of a state law limiting the rights of transgender people. "Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry - which is happening as I write - is one of them," he writes. Pearl Jam follows suit, bowing out of a show in Raleigh.

September 26, 2008 Clay Aiken announces he is gay in People magazine, saying: "It was the first decision I made as a father. I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn't raised that way, and I'm not going to raise a child to do that."

July 5, 2008 Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" hits #1 in the US, where it stays for seven weeks. Perry's first chart-topper, it's a startling turnabout from just seven years earlier, when she was a gospel singer recording under her real name: Katy Hudson.More

December 21, 2005 Elton John and his partner David Furnish take part in a civil ceremony (gay marriage is not legal in England) to make their union official. Guests at the ceremony, which takes place in Windsor, England, include George Michael, Sharon Stone, and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. Nine years later, with gay marriage legal, they get married.

April 10, 1998 Three days after being arrested in a Los Angeles park for lewd conduct, George Michael comes out as gay in an interview with CNN. "I have no problem with people knowing that I'm in a relationship with a man right now," he says.

April 7, 1998 George Michael is arrested for disorderly conduct at a park restroom in Beverly Hills, California, after an undercover officer observes him performing a "lewd act." He comes out as gay soon after.More

February 4, 1998 Judas Priest lead singer Rob Halford comes out as gay in an interview with MTV. "I feel this is the moment to discuss it," he says. "A lot of homophobia still exists in the music world."

February 13, 1993 RuPaul becomes the first drag queen to make the Hot 100 when "Supermodel (You Better Work)" enters the chart at #91. It rises to #45 in April.More

January 20, 1993 At the Triangle Ball, the first gay and lesbian inaugural ball, Melissa Etheridge, k.d. lang and Janis Ian come out publicly, declaring that they are gay and in same-sex relationships.More

July 22, 1979 Little Richard, who has been preaching of his salvation throughout the United States, makes his famous statement, "If God can save an old homosexual like me, he can save anybody."More

January 6, 1979 The Village People appear on American Bandstand, where the crowd does the soon-to-be famous arm movements spelling out "Y.M.C.A." Host Dick Clark makes sure they learn those moves, and they do.More

January 22, 1972 In an interview with Melody Maker, David Bowie says, "I'm gay and I always have been."

May 8, 2012 Tom Gabel, lead singer of the Florida punk band Against Me!, comes out as transgender and announces he will undergo gender reassignment surgery, becoming Laura Jane Grace.More

January 20, 2011 Appearing on the Bravo show Watch What Happens Live, Tiffany talks about dating Jonathan Knight of New Kids on the Block in the '80s, and inadvertently outs him, saying, "He became gay later."More

November 22, 2009 At the American Music Awards, Adam Lambert makes a statement with a lascivious performance of his debut single, "For Your Entertainment," where he drops a smooch on his (male) keyboard player.More

February 3, 2021 TJ Osborne of the Brothers Osborne comes out as gay in an interview with Time, making him the first openly gay country artist signed to a major label.

August 14, 2019 Matt Healy of The 1975, an advocate for LGBQ rights, ventures into the crowd and kisses a male fan on the lips during a concert in Dubai, where homosexuality is illegal. "We're all human, right?," he says upon returning to the stage.

March 15, 2019 Sam Smith says he is nonbinary, telling Jameela Jamil, "I am not male or female. I think I float somewhere in between."

April 5, 2018 The EP Universal Love – Wedding Songs Reimagined is released, with six classic songs sung from the perspective of same-sex couples. Bob Dylan does "She's Funny That Way" as "He's Funny That Way," and St. Vincent turns "Then He Kissed Me" into "Then She Kissed Me."More

March 26, 2018 Kesha, an ordained minister, presides over a same-sex wedding between two of her fans in Las Vegas. Footage is used in her video for "I Need A Woman To Love," a reworking of the Janis Joplin song "I Need a Man to Love."

May 14, 2017 Johnny Mathis confirms he is gay during an interview with CBS News Sunday Morning, saying, "I come from San Francisco. It's not unusual to be gay in San Francisco. I've had some girlfriends, some boyfriends, just like most people. But I never got married, for instance. I knew that I was gay." He had been reluctant to discuss the issue ever since a 1982 Us Magazine article addressing his homosexuality resulted in numerous death threats toward the singer.

April 14, 2016 In an interview with the Mormon Stories podcast, Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn reveals that he is leaving the Mormon church in response to its ruling that gay marriage is apostasy. Glenn came out as gay in 2014.

August 21, 2015 When the Westboro Baptist Church, famous for their anti-gay demonstrations, stage a protest before a Foo Fighters concert in Kansas City, the band responds by driving a truck in front of the demonstrators and Rickrolling them by blasting Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up."More

April 29, 2015 Cyndi Lauper testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee, speaking on behalf of homeless LGBTQ youth, whom she says are often kicked out of shelters and denied services. Lauper co-founded the True Colors Fund in 2008 to advocate for the cause.

January 21, 2014 Against Me! release the album Transgender Dysphoria Blues, their first since lead singer Laura Jane Grace came out as transgender. The album began as a concept piece about a transexual prostitute back when Grace was still presenting as a man (Tom Gabel). The personal implications became clear when she came out and her bandmates figured out what was going on. Two of the four members of the band - drummer Jay Weinberg and bass player Andrew Seward - quit before it is completed, but the album earns strong reviews and Grace becomes a leader in the fight for transgender rights.

June 8, 2000 Sinead O'Connor comes out as a lesbian during an interview with Curve magazine, saying, "I would say that I'm a lesbian. Although I haven't been very open about that and throughout most of my life I've gone out with blokes because I haven't necessarily been terribly comfortable about being a lesbian. But I actually am a lesbian." She marries a man the following year and says she's "three-quarters heterosexual, a quarter gay."

April 25, 1993 RuPaul performs "Supermodel (You Better Work)" at the LGBT March on Washington.More

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