Women in Music 2018
5 Reasons Stevie Nicks Is, In Fact, a Gay Icon
The internet was set ablaze last week when Thorgy Thor, the now-eliminated competitor from season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, appeared to claim on national television that Stevie Nicks was not a gay icon. Thorgy since clarified her stance, telling Billboard the show's editing was misleading and that she actually said, “Stevie Nicks is not a gay icon who can win at a gay drag queen competition next to the divas in this challenge.”
Even so, it needs to be reiterated that Stevie Nicks is unequivocally a gay icon. Over the decades Stevie has garnered a massive gay fan following, which she regularly acknowledges. Along with her shoutout on Drag Race, here are five more reasons that Stevie Nicks deserves her gay icon status.
1. She recognizes LGBTQ people as people first.
When sitting down for an interview with OUT Magazine, Nicks could have given any multitude of answers as to why she thinks she has such a passionate gay fanbase. But the answer she gave was so much more insightful. “I can’t say that I’m so glad that gay people like my music, because I have never looked at gay people as different from any other people,” she said. “We are all one consciousness. The fact that anybody loves my music makes me feel very good, because this is what I do.”
She even added that she thinks the idea of coming out is naturally unfair to gay people. “The idea of carrying that secret around would have killed me,” she said. “If I were gay, the second that I knew, I would have said, ‘OK, everybody, this is how it is, and either you still like me or I don’t care.’”
2. Her struggles can be easily related to by the gay community.
In songs like "Gold Dust Woman" and "Mabel Normand," Stevie has opened up to the public about her struggle with cocaine addiction. In multiple interviews, Stevie has honestly talked about the hardships that come with addiction and what it feels like to finally beat it. She has always had a standard, in her music and in her life, of being open and honest.
That openness is meant to help others with their own struggles, which is something every gay icon to date does for their audience: they make art out of their own personal trials in order to encourage others to face theirs head on.
3. Her role as a singing witch on American Horror Story was a tribute to “misfits.”
If there was ever a showrunner who knows how to give the LGBTQ community what they want, it’s Ryan Murphy. So when it was announced that Stevie Nicks would be making an appearance on American Horror Story: Coven, fans were overjoyed.
When she was interviewed by Billboard about why she wanted to do the show, she said that it was because she thought Ryan Murphy knew how to write about not fitting in. “I think that Ryan just writes about misfits,” she said. “Whether they’re kids that don’t fit in in high school, or whether they’re witches who don’t fit into society, he just writes about people that don’t fit in.”
4. The Night of 1,000 Stevies is one of the gayest things ever.
Picture a room full of drag queens, impersonators, gothics, wiccans and fangirls all dressed up as Stevie Nicks, dancing and twirling around to the star’s music. That exactly what the Night of 1,000 Stevies is — an annual dress-up ball held in New York City where Stevie Nicks fans come together and celebrate the iconic artist’s music and fashion. There is even a 2001 movie, called Gypsy 83, whose plot centers around gay teens trying to get to the Night of 1,000 Stevies.
When asked when she knew she was a gay icon by PrideSource, Stevie said it was when she learned about the annual celebration. Even the icon herself knows just how fabulous and gay this yearly event is.
5. Her music has become a backdrop for gay romantic love.
In "Sexy," an episode in the second season of Glee, Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) and Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris) join substitute teacher Holly (Gwyneth Paltrow) in a heartbreaking rendition of "Landslide," after which the two female characters express their love for one another. Separately, a Kickstarter campaign from last year aimed to fund an animated short film entitled The Shawl, which explored how the music of Stevie Nicks brought two gay men together.
These are just two examples of how Nicks’ music has brought so much love and positivity to the LGBTQ community, even if her songs are not explicitly about the LGBTQ experience.