For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked numerous pop culture luminaries to write ‘love letters’ to the LGBTQ community. Below, Andy Bell, the out-and-proud singer of Erasure, shares his. Read more Pride Month love letters here.
“What’s a boy in love supposed to do?”
Hands down, Pride and LGBTQ celebrations are the best day out ever! You could say I’ve played more Pride shows than had hot guys — ooh, I mean dinners (that could be exaggerating slightly).
A few particular Pride’s spring to mind. The first, on the South Bank in London (1987?) when I was looking out for Sinead O’Connor’s (then) little one Jake, so she could go and look round the stalls. We were sitting with Kirsty MacColl on the grass and Divine came floating down the Thames on top of a barge singing “You Think You’re A Man.” The second one was at City Hall in San Francisco, 1988, being given the keys to the city, a few days after the beloved Sylvester had passed.
In some ways, although it was the late to mid ’80s we felt that we had to be out in the music business –if for nothing else, as a thank you to all of those who’d struggled, fought for our rights and shaped who we are as a community today. I am damned proud to be part of that community. We are the future!