(Sing If You're) Glad To Be Gay

Album: Power In The Darkness (1977)
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  • The British Police are the best in the world
    I don't believe one of these stories I've heard
    'Bout them raiding our pubs for no reason at all
    Lining the customers up by the wall
    Picking out people and knocking them down
    Resisting arrest as they're kicked on the ground
    Searching their houses and calling them queer
    I don't believe that sort of thing happens here

    Sing if you're glad to be gay
    Sing if you're happy that way

    Pictures of naked young women are fun
    In Titbits and Playboy, page three of The Sun
    There's no nudes in xxx News our one magazine
    But they still find excuses to call it obscene
    Read how disgusting we are in the press
    Telegraphs, people and Sunday Express
    Molesters of children, corruptors of youth
    It's there in the paper, it must be the truth

    Sing if you're glad to be gay
    Sing if you're happy that way

    Don't try to kid us that if you're discreet
    You're perfectly safe as you walk down the street
    You don't have to mince or make bitchy remarks
    To get beaten unconscious and left in the dark
    I had a friend who was gentle and short
    He was lonely one evening and went for a walk
    Queerbashers caught him and kicked in his teeth
    He was only hospitalised for a week

    Sing if you're glad to be gay
    Sing if you're happy that way

    So sit back and watch as they close all our clubs
    Arrest us for meeting and raid all our pubs
    Make sure your boyfriend's at least 21
    So only your friends and your brothers get done
    Lie to your workmates, lie to your folks
    Put down the queens and tell anti-queer jokes
    Gay Lib's ridiculous, join their laughter
    'The buggers are legal now, what more are they after?'

    Sing if you're glad to be gay
    Sing if you're happy that way Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 3

  • George from Vancouver, Canadabloody censors. . . not my cuppa, this gay thing, but to each their own, really! Straight, gay, or somewhere in between -- I don't care to hear of your bedroom activities! But if I have the option not to, then whatever. . . I'm not going to demand censorship to make it easier to change the channel or album I'm playing. . . That's what I have HANDS for!
  • Stephen from UkThis is a bit of a one-sided trope. I will add that the suspended prison sentence against Dennis Lemon was quashed by the appeal court in 1978 and the defendants would be guilty of nothing in the modern world, the archaic blasphemous libel law was abolished in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.
    There also needs to be some context about the rest of the lyrics. This was a hugely groundbreaking and courageous recording. While Bowie had alluded to his bisexuality, there were no openly gay musicians at this time, and even popular camp celebrities like Frankie Howerd and Kenneth Williams felt the need to hide their sexuality, such was the extreme hostility from the media.
    A later version of the song highlights the case of Peter Wells, a 26 year old who was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for having a consensual relationship with an 18 year old man. This was because the age of consent for homosexuals was five years higher than for heterosexuals. (There was no equality until 2001).
    Also, the song was a beacon of hope to many young gay people. Tom Robinson told The Guardian newspaper of one such man in a 2013 interview: "I received a letter from a US teenager who had been disowned by his Christian parents. He'd just taken an overdose when Glad to Be Gay came on his college radio station. He put his fingers down his throat, threw up, and moved to San Franscisco, where he was now living happily. It would have been worth writing the song for him alone."
  • Matt from York, Pa"Those familiar with the story behind this claim might beg to differ. In June 1996..." Almost 20 years after the song was released. If it can be proven that there were nudes or something especially obscene in Gay News at the time the song came out, then one can "beg to differ". Maybe that couplet doesn't hold true anymore, but it's not proven that it did not at the time. Therefore, it is still a credible claim: that people called the magazine "obscene" simply because it featured "gay" topics. In my opinion, the libel suit against the magazine was an act of unnecessary and unlawful censorship. Why would a conservative Christian be reading Gay News, except to find reasons to be offended and bring opposition against it? The magazine was a special interest magazine, not one that would be found in a doctor's office like People or Times. Although, if I were chief editor, I would try to ensure that it could be. I guess I am what you would call a "family-friendly" gay man. Children are justifiably exposed to motifs of marriage and dating in mainstream media, but obviously we should try to limit their exposure to explicitly sexual material for as long as possible. Keeping that kind of material out of a magazine is a good way to reach a wider audience and increase social acceptance. And for the record, it highly offends me when anyone supports the defense of child molestation; a crime against humanity and innocence as wicked and sick as rape or murder.
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