For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked numerous pop culture luminaries to write ‘love letters’ to the LGBTQ community. Below, dance-pop hitmaker Taylor Dayne shares hers. Read more Pride Month love letters here.
The first time I can remember being asked to do a “gay pride” performance it might have been 1988 or 1989. I was recording my second record by that time, Can’t Fight Fate, and with the early ’87 and ’88 launch of “Tell It To My Heart” and my first album I gained many gay club followers. Hell, you couldn’t walk into a drag club without seeing one queen or another doing a mean version of “Tell It” or “Prove Your Love” and I loved it and I saw how open, honest and tough it was.
When drag queens and the gay community took notice of Taylor Dayne it was the greatest of flattery and I welcomed it. I had a big voice and now a bigger worldwide presence.
I’m from New York and I grew up exposed to theatre and the arts more then others. Most hair and makeup artists and stylists I worked with were beautiful gay men who were artistic, daring and original. Their work helped me feel confident in front of the camera and on stage. Even as a woman playing with makeup and hair I never saw myself or dared to see myself that uniquely and confidently.
Where I grew up, being gay wasn’t another species of people, yet openly living a gay lifestyle with a partner was, and that’s when it hit home, as my own friends started slowly coming out to families friends the community around them. I saw communities either push back or embrace the hunger.
The wanting, needing and demanding issues that gay individuals and couples were asking for, the support for marriage and equal rights to raising families and health care. I watched as my gay prides shows and their communities and numbers grew, over the years in support of this hunger.
From 1988 to now I have been embraced by LGBTQ community and I do mean embraced. I’ve watched the few turn into hundreds into the thousands through the years. I’ve seen individuals become families, become communities.
Thank you! It is truly something to be Proud of!