Kylie Minogue on the First Time She Realized She Was a Gay Icon
If countless New Yorkers draped in rainbow finery filling the streets of Manhattan for the annual March isn't enough Pride for you this upcoming Sunday (June 24), then what's happening on Pride Island (the 32-year-old celebration formerly known as Dance on the Pier) should do the trick: International pop sensation Kylie Minogue will deliver a rare stateside performance following the release of her latest album, the Nashville-inflected Golden.
Speaking to Billboard ahead of the show, the Aussie pop queen reflected on the first time she realized she was a gay icon. And spoiler alert, it involves drag queens.
"It happened without me knowing it," Minogue tells Billboard, explaining she became aware of her intense LGBTQ following in the late '80s while visiting Sydney's so-called "Gay Golden Mile."
"I was in Sydney and there's a famous bar on Oxford Street called the Albury, and at the time it was the gay bar in the gay area in Sydney. I was in the car, my manager was in the car with me along with a couple other people, and someone said 'there's Kylie Night at the Albury tonight.' And I was like 'What?!' I'd never heard of a Kylie Night, but I said 'We should go! We should go!' At the time, I'd done an ad for Coca-Cola, and someone said, 'Ohhh I think someone has gone as a Coke can,'" she recalls, laughing. "There weren't that many versions of me then, I'm talking 1989 or '90. Now there's tons of them -- choose a look. But I'm the least Kylie person when I'm at any of those nights. I looked like they should not have let me in."
Since then, Kylie's given us more than enough looks to populate an entire bar without repeats, and her gay fan base has only grown.
"That's the first moment I can remember where it was a thing, and it's been a thing ever since -- which is incredible," she says.
In addition to Pride Island, Kylie Minogue will play to an unusually intimate audience at NYC's Bowery Ballroom on Monday, June 25.