Electric Blue

When I wrote the post below, Bowie was already dead. I had my suspicions thanks to a text from a femme friend (“Oh, no, David Bowie!”) but I was resisting looking it up because I didn’t want it to be true.

“David Bowie Our Brixton Boy RIP” reads a billboard pictured in the Daily Mail article that I found first when I finally did look, along with a tweet from Iggy Pop, “David’s friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is.” There were a lot of other pictures, but those were the two that made me sob. I cried all day, on and off, and yesterday I cried in therapy, too. Even though I felt a little silly – weeping like a Beatles freak about a dead rock star? Honestly.

But I was a Beatles freak, albeit 15 years after the original phenomenon. I did wait around in front of the Dakotas with my sister Beatles freak, until John finally walked out and we got to say hey we love you to him, because he was that important to me. My favorite Beatle. I sobbed all night when he was killed, too. Because music and art, as much as literature, holds me in place in the world.

As soon as I started looking elsewhere, I saw posts comparing Bowie to Bill Cosby, saying he was a child rapist. My initial reaction was to defend him and to be angry with the people saying those things: we’re grieving here! Bowie, with his twisted, gorgeous creativity, forged a yellow brick road heading in the opposite direction of normal. Showed me a way out of oppression, long before I knew I wasn’t straight. That’s why I’m crying – part of me is him, somehow.

I don’t want to think about Bowie being a child rapist. I don’t want him compared to Bill Cosby. It was the seventies, things were different, youth had more agency, people were considered to be in charge of themselves, even their sexual selves, at a much earlier age, what male rock star in the 70s wasn’t having sex with teenage girls? (This from the woman who hates Lolita more than words can say…) And he saved so many lives of us freaky little queers! Tex vividly remembers seeing him on “The Midnight Special” when she was still in the single digits, and people, he is freaking queer as shit in that show – check it out if you want to be cheered up! She couldn’t take her eyes off of him, and what’s more, when her mother commented he was bisexual, she got to have a little discussion about that interesting way of being a grown up.

I so wanted to grow old with Bowie going ahead of me, giving me strength as he continued to make art about being human.

I was getting more and more pissed off, but being on the defense committee was distracting me from being able to mourn.

So you know what? I forgive him. I can’t say the same about Bill Cosby and still think it’s way, way off base to compare the two, but I sure as hell have a better understanding of why certain people might find it in their hearts to offer forgiveness.

We need our heroes, and no matter how much we wish otherwise, our heroes are always human.

Bowie, living in an electric blue room in my heart now, and forever.












Published in: on January 13, 2016 at 10:16 AM  Comments (1)  
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  1. Lovely and moving posts, this and the last. I heard this today and thought it was a great conversation, about the news coverage that left out Bowie’s queerness: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/day6/episode-268-the-big-short-atlantic-canada-wants-immigrants-finland-s-neo-nazi-patrols-bowie-and-more-1.3405307/was-david-bowie-s-gay-icon-status-left-out-of-obits-1.3405589

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