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Music Video  
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The video also features Michael dancing around dressed, Village People-style, as a macho cop while also portraying two other males dressed as cops kissing passionately. MTV played both a censored (blurred kiss) and uncensored (late-night airings) version.

While the sometimes-bisexual singer Madonna receives the most attention for her videos depicting both bisexuality and homosexuality, from her cavortings with men and women in "Justify My Love" and "Music" to her remake of Don McLean's "American Pie" in which gay men and lesbians are depicted kissing in unsensationalized moments, numerous other heterosexual recording artists including Lenny Kravitz and Aerosmith have upped the titillation factor in their videos by gratuitously depicting women together in sexual situations.

Singer Marilyn Manson resurrects Boy George by way of "Dope Show" (1999); like Michael's "Outside" video, "Dope Show" features a scene of males dressed as police officers in sexualized couplings while the overall video depicts the heterosexual Manson wearing an androgynous costume that features women's breasts.

As programming on video stations has begun to include fewer videos and more serial programs and films, the message from the video channels, if not from the artists, appears mixed.

In January 2000, MTV introduced their "Fight For Your Rights: Take a Stand Against Discrimination" campaign with the documentary "Anatomy of a Hate Crime--Matthew Shepard." At the same time, virulently rap artist Eminem won the MTV Video Awards Best Video of the Year for his song "The Real Slim Shady," which includes explicit slurs against gays and lesbians.

Carla Williams

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arts >> Overview:  Music: Popular

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons have had tremendous influence on popular music, though some musical genres have been more receptive to a homosexual presence than others.

arts >> Overview:  Rock Music

Although rock music has been closely associated with freedom of expression and rebelliousness, it has not been particularly welcoming to gay and lesbian performers.

arts >> B-52s

Commonly known as the "World's Greatest Party Band," the B-52sĀ features openly gay members who are active in glbtq, AIDS, environmental and animal rights issues.

arts >> Barclay, Paris 

Award-winning television director Paris Barclay is also an activist for glbtq rights, including marriage equality and the opportunity to adopt children as he and his husband have done.

arts >> Bass, Lance

Singer Lance Bass gained fame as a member of the boy band *Nsync; since coming out in 2006, he has spoken on behalf of glbtq rights.

arts >> Boy George (George O'Dowd)

A pop icon with a rich soulful voice, Boy George, who fronted the band Culture Club in the 1980s, managed to survive homophobia, drug addiction, and fame.

arts >> Etheridge, Melissa

Award-winning rock singer and songwriter Melissa Etheridge has not only managed to carve out a spectacularly successful career as a popular mainstream performer, but she has also become a lesbian icon and activist for gay and lesbian causes.

arts >> Gately, Stephen

Singer, songwriter, and actor Stephen Gately gained fame as one of the lead vocalists in the Irish pop group Boyzone.

arts >> Gold, Ari

Ari Gold, the award-winning recording artist, is unusual for his openness in an industry that has not exactly welcomed openly gay performers.

arts >> Indigo Girls

One of the most successful folk/pop duos in recording history, Indigo Girls (consisting of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers) have earned the fierce loyalty of their fans, many of whom are lesbians.

arts >> John, Sir Elton

Pop superstar Elton John's combination of melodic skills, dynamic charisma, and raucous performance style have make him a remarkably popular musical artist.

arts >> lang, k. d.

Long before she came out, lesbians had made singer k.d. lang their own.

arts >> Michael, George

Popular singer and songwriter George Michael, who confirmed his long-rumored homosexuality after an arrest for "lewd behavior" in 1998, has devoted much effort to AIDS charities since 1992.

arts >> Ndegeocello, Meshell

Singer, songwriter, and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello is a notably eclectic artist whose music confronts social and sexual issues, including racial identity, same-sex attraction, and homophobia.

arts >> Scissor Sisters

The American pop band Scissor Sisters was spawned in New York City's gay club scene; frequently addressing issues of transgressive sexuality, the band has cultivated a large glbtq fan base.

social sciences >> Shepard, Matthew

Matthew Shepard led an unremarkable life, but his shocking death transformed him into an icon of the glbtq movement for equality.

arts >> The Village People

The Village People, a disco-era singing group, successfully translated the interests, coded language, and iconography of the gay male subculture into music that crossed over into mainstream pop.


Cohen, Belissa. "Linda Perry Wants It All." Lesbian News (January 1997):

Indigo Girls. Watershed: 10 Years of Underground Video. DVD, Sony Music Entertainment, Inc./Epic Music Video, 1995.

John, Richard. "George Michael Video Parodies Arrest." Jam! Showbiz (November 2, 1998):

lang, k.d. k.d. lang: Harvest of Seven Years (Cropped and Chronicled).VHS. Warner Reprise Video, 1991.

Springsteen, Bruce. Bruce Springsteen: The Complete Video Anthology: 1978-2000. DVD, Columbia Music Video, 2001.

Etheridge, Melissa, Home Page:

Indigo Girls, Home Page:

Indigo Girls, Information: [contains an extensive articles database that is relevant to almost all of the artists discussed].

John, Sir Elton, Home Page:

lang, k. d., Home Page:

Madonna, Home Page:

Manson, Marilyn, Home Page:

Michael, George, Home Page:

Perry, Linda, Home Page:

Springsteen, Bruce, Home Page:


    Citation Information
    Author: Williams, Carla  
    Entry Title: Music Video  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated October 15, 2004  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  


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