The new history of LGBT music, DAVID BOWIE MADE ME GAY by Darryl W. Bullock is available. This electrifying book is one of PureWow’s “Best Books of November” and Billboard’s “Five Bowie Books You Need to Read This Fall.”

DAVID BOWIE MADE ME GAY will help console anyone who cried when Bowie died, but the scope of Bullock’s latest work goes far beyond the Thin White Duke. An ambitious undertaking, the book offers a uniquely thorough history of LGBT music from Tchaikovsky through Lady Gaga and beyond.

“Encyclopedic . . . and sweeping . . . Bullock’s comprehensive study not only makes the work of scores of musicians sing anew; it also demonstrates how the pendulum of acceptance can swing from era to era.” (Kirkus) In this entertaining narrative, Darryl W. Bullock:

• Discusses how gay, lesbian, and bisexual performers influenced Jazz and Blues.
• Examines the almost forgotten Pansy Craze in the years between the two World Wars (when many LGBT performers were fêted by royalty and Hollywood alike).
• Chronicles the dark years after the depression when gay life was driven deep underground.
• Celebrates the reemergence of LGBT performers in the post-Stonewall years.
• Highlights today’s most legendary out-gay musicians including: Tony Jackson, Dusty Springfield, Elton John, Janis Ian, Boy George, Jackie Shane, Cris Williamson, Freddie Mercury, Holly Near, George Michael, David Bowie, and many more.
A leading authority on LGBT music, Bullock has contributed a rich and necessary work, one of the first to focus on the legacies of LGBT musicians.

Purchase David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT music on Amazon.com.


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“A look back at a century of LGBTQ music, [Bullock’s] history lesson serves as a primer of a movement in which Bowie was key.”


“Bullock’s comprehensive yet concise history of LGBT music from the earliest records in the pre-jazz age to the 21st century is an enthralling journey covering multiple genres, and serves as both a cultural and sociological study of the history and impact of various artists and music styles . . . Bullock spotlights dozens of LGBT artists, examining their lives, lyrics, and struggles, both in society and within the music industry, in an entertaining narrative that will also encourage readers to seek out fascinating work that helps define a community’s rich history and heritage.”

—Library Journal, Starred Review

“A highly comprehensive history of LGBT music, spanning a century from early jazz and blues to today’s most recognizable pop stars out of the closet. Bullock meticulously chronicles the LGBT community’s vast influence on music through a historical lens, revealing how society’s oscillation between acceptance and persecution has shaped what we listen to today.”

—The Washington Blade

“Music fans are likely to treasure this tome as it highlights the contribution from many artists now forgotten or, in some cases, unappreciated during their lifetimes. It also demonstrates that not only have there been LGBT recording artists since the dawn of recorded music but many did little to hide their sexual orientation.”

—Gay Star News

“Popular music is the great stealth art form, able to slip past our censors and explore all kinds of sexuality in ways closed to print or movies. Darryl Bullock’s book is a wonderful encyclopedia of queer music, an encyclopedia with a plot: the history of one hundred years of social change. He not only connects the musical dots, but reveals dots I didn’t know existed. Ambitious, wide-ranging, unpredictable, fast-paced, and highly informative,

David Bowie Made Me Gay is also very entertaining.

—Christopher Bram, author of Gods and Monsters and Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America

“From ‘Ma’ Rainey to Adam Lambert―with Janis Ian, the Village People, k.d. lang, and Pansy Division discussed along the way―David Bowie Made Me Gay is a whirlwind tour through how queer musicians have changed the rhythm and the beat of music and culture for almost one hundred years. Everyone knows that music is sexy, and sex is better with the right music―and LGBT people have been pushing the boundaries of music and sex for decades. The ‘soundtrack’ for cultural liberation over the decades has been written and performed by gay people―and this book does not miss a beat documenting who, how, and why that happened. A must read for anyone interested in, or fascinated by, music and popular culture.”

—Michael Bronski, author of A Queer History of the United States

and Professor of Practice in Media and Activism, Harvard University

“A fun and enlightening read, Darryl Bullock’s David Bowie Made Me Gay is to popular music what William J. Mann’s Behind the Screen is to Hollywood filmmaking: a convincing account of the hitherto ignored influence of LGBTQ people in a popular medium. Although there are other studies of some of these decades, Bullock’s treatment of the past 100 years is an engaging ‘one-stop’ of many genres―[its] detailed coverage of women’s music is welcome―and uniquely inclusive of both the US and UK. A valuable addition to the history of popular music as well as queer studies, and should appeal to general readers of all sexualities.”

—Vicki L. Eaklor, author of Queer America

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