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Can Music Make You Gay ?

All Things Music: a Sheftonian Blog III
As a musician I have been a lot of places and have seen a lot of of things. I’ve run the gambit when it comes to music including meaning rock, pop,  r&b, jazz and gospel.  Now you may ask your self what does this have to do with smoothjazz  ? well probably nothing but hang in there with me and let’s explore.
On an occasion I was asked to play as a musician at the Gospel Work Shops of America and was shocked to see an overwhelming number of gay men waltzing about searching for some action. Now you’d  think that this scene would only play out in  a bar or other some other place besides at a gospel  workshop  but that was the case and it was very obvious what was happening. Now, there has certainly been an increase in americans living open homosexual  lives   and according to “Gays in Pop Culture” from Nov. 1934  when  Lillian Hellman wrote the controversial stage play “The Children’s Hour”  where  two women who run a all girls boarding school are accused of being  homosexual (which in turned ruined their careers ) then fast forward to   July 2012 when R&B singer Frank Ocean admits his first love was a dude. So  it seems that the numbers of LBGT have increased and some in America have turned their heads when it come to the subject.  However, particularly,  in the  entertainment field there is an inordinate large community of the LBGT,  namely music. So it warrants the question. Can music music make you gay ?

At first glance  this question may seem may seen simple or not even worth conversation or even very controversial. But think about it people say “you are what you eat”  right ?  so does what we listen to have any effect on the mind and body.  When you think about trending here in the USA  consider  the  numbers first.  So  lets make a determination of how many  LBGT  there are.  I read this,  “The Williams Institute  at the UCLA School of Law, a sexual preference  law and public policy think tank, estimates that 9 million (about 3.8%) of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (2011). The institute discovered that bisexuals make up 1.8% of the population, while 1.7% are gay or lesbian. Transgender adults make up 0.3% of the population.   Basically,  that is about 4 percent of the over all population here in the US considers them self to be gay including transgender.  Now it begs the question does music have any effect on the human mind?  Well   according to this article,  “What influence Does music Have on The Human Culture” reports that  “There perhaps is something primal about music, something that can touch or twist one’s soul. It is an inseparable muse to the journey of life . We tend  to learn something more easily   If it’s set to a rhyme or song. Advertisers know this and use it so effectively that we sometimes have difficulty getting their jingles out of our heads. Music influences human behavior by affecting the brain and subsequently other bodily structures in ways that are observable, identifiable, measurable, and predictable, thereby providing the necessary foundation for therapeutic applications. Music Therapists use these influences to affect specific behaviors and outcomes. Throughout the years music has changed the way it influences people. In earlier years,  music was used more for celebration and now music is used to voice your opinion and try to influence your audience to believe what you stand for. Having said all this, there are other powerful agents of cultural change today and  we must question not just the musical taste of the next and previous generations, but also our own.” So psychologically speaking, humans are musically influenced to the end that advertisers pay millions to influence the culture’s buying behavior. Now,  that is a heck of a lot to gamble on wouldn’t you say?  and I found this statement in “Quora” “It seems that a fair percentage of young gay men prefer the music of Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Brtitney Spears, or Katy Perry to other artists or styles of music.”   

“I’m leaving out Madonna and Cher as I specifically want to know why young gay teens lather their praise mainly on these aforementioned performers. Please explain what appeals to you specifically about these women, and their music as opposed to jazz, rock or other alternative acts. Maybe these articles will provide some insight”

Now the reasons for this trend was unexplained other than the rants of a few.  But one guy’s statement I found interesting:

Issac W.,Extreme Minimalist, technophile, tech-nomad, atheist, neutralite, futurist” I totally understand your question and I’m gay 21 year old male born in 1994. I understand not all gay guys are the same but sadly I have not seen anything that doesn’t perpetuate the stereotype except myself.  As a child, maybe around ages 3-6, I was not living in America. I lived in Italy at the time due to my dad in the military. My mother said she would put a Madonna CD in the entertainment center and I would get on the coffee table and sing to it. It was her Ray of Light album. At that time, I did not really understand why I liked that music until I got much older and actually appreciated the sound and understood her lyrics. In 2004, my mom introduced me to DJ Tiesto. And from then on all I really liked was trance, dance, EDM, deep house music, And deep tech house. I just liked the sound of that type of music because it resonated with me and I was kind of influenced by Europe. Electronic music I believe is a global type of music created for a global audience. Most of the artists you mention above are okay artists but I can’t stand Katy perry and lady gaga. I think most gay men like them because they are powerful women. I’m guessing powerful women attract gay guys because they admire a strong women’s character and how they express themselves and their style. But for me I like powerful men and women. I love how men and women move. Uhhhh it so hard to explain. But I try to get away from mainstream music as much as possible. Music is all about feeling to me.”

Concluding: Now as a adolescent I’ll never forget this young country preacher during a church service warning all the the young people to stay away from disco music (like many decades earlier parishioners  warned against rock and roll and juke joints…. ) that there was was  some hidden danger.   Then uh huh! it dawned on me years later what ” that something”  was in him-he was referring to and  was the effects  this music genre would have  with it’s links to  homosexuality. So  without knowing it he was really giving  us  an omen. Interesting,  eh. The facts are the gay scene blew up during this era ,especially,   growing  the height and fame  of places like “The Garage and “Studio 54” in New York. This is where disco music lived and the gay scene exploded.  This is a fact. Then, unfortunately,  what followed was devastating to the gay community;   the of AIDS epidemic became the night mare for many gay men which was initially referred  to as “GRID”    which held the  nation under siege for many years. So listen, does music influence us? the  obvious answer is yes in ways that are are extremely influential and far beyond our knowledge or comprehension.  Here  are some of the quotes given to by some pretty important age old fellows  with respect to the music scene take note:

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything; It is the essence of order and lends to all that is good, just, and beautiful.”

– Plato

“Music directly imitates the passions or states of the soul…when one listens to music that imitates a certain passion, he becomes imbued with the same passion; and if over a long time he habitually listens to music that rouses ignoble passions, his whole character will be shaped to an ignoble form.”

– Aristotle

Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful.

– Socrates

Powerful stuff,  huh!  so it ain’t  just music  music. Melody along with words or lyric is a powder keg combination and has the ability to find itself in regions of the mind and brain like nothing other . So does that mean you should pop in some Monk, Tatum or even some Benson?  who knows? Hmm! , so can music make you gay?, you decide.