Now admittedly I’ve come close when talking about my mentor and such, Aunty Kate, Julie d’Aubigny, Freddy Mercury, Anna Madrigal. They could all come close to Icon in some ways.
To me though, a Queer Icon needs to be something else, for some Queer Icons all seem to be those public figures who are hugely admired within the Queer Community. So Judy Garland, Madonna, Kylie, Lady Gaga, etc.
I’m not into ascribing Queer Icon status to someone who isn’t Queer and it needs to be someone Extra. Icon status is something more than Aspiration and Inspiration.
Of those I’ve mentioned Freddy and GaGa are still contenders and of course, this being me RuPaul is a strong contender. RuPaul, obviously, is problematic, he’s had some things to say about Transwomen that are not great. On the other hand, he does learn from his missteps and changes his language when called on it. (My main example is the use of shemail on Dragrace). He is Iconic within Queer culture for bringing that into the mainstream.
That in itself gives me shivers, pulling us into the mainstream has positives and negatives and this year has me a little more apprehensive than I’ve been in a while about the negatives.
I don’t then think that I can name him as my choice of Queer Icon.
However there is somebody who’s Iconic to both the Straight and Queer, he was so obviously Gay in such a straight environment and he’s how I figured out I was bi. (Yup it’s that story again about how I was a dumb teen with no idea that was a thing).
I’ve got to name Freddy Mercury as my Queer Icon. He was messy and he sang like nobody else. He was Queer as hell and he is beloved by so many many people. I have loved Queen since I can remember music being in my life. So here you go, my Queer Icon of choice;