R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe on Being Queer for 20 Years: 'Love Isn’t Just Black and White, or Simple, At All'

Michael Stipe
Reuters/Carlo Allegri/Landov

Michael Stipe poses for pictures during the 29th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York April 10, 2014. 

To commemorate the 20 years after coming out as queer, Michael Stipe has published a piece in The Guardian reflecting on the changes in his life this has brought and how he as seen society progress over the past two decades. 

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The R.E.M. frontman publicly announced his sexuality at the height of the band's fame in September 1994, having sold more than 25 million records worldwide and leading up to the release of Monster

"I said simply that I had enjoyed sex with men and women my entire adult life. It was a simple fact, and I’m happy I announced it," he writes. 

Stipe continues, stating this message was complicated for many with a "binary perception of sexuality" at the time to understand. 

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"I am thrilled to see how much this has changed in those 20 years," he writes. "The 21st century has provided all of us, recent generations particularly, with a clearer idea of the breadth of fluidity with which sexuality and identity presents itself in each individual. Gender identification, and the panoply of sexuality and identity are now topics that are more easily and more widely discussed, debated and talked about openly. It’s thrilling to see progressive change shift perceptions so quickly."

Read the entire essay here


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