1. peterparker says

    It seems to me that Michael Stipe is trying to say that he doesn’t believe homosexual people in the spotlight should be expected to come forward and reveal their sexual orientation. Unfortunately, we live in a heterosexist society in which people are (often) perceived to be heterosexual until it is proven otherwise. This results in a situation which makes it easy for gay people to be demonized, marginalized and, in some case, murdered for their sexual orientation. Stipe’s little joke not only fails to be funny, it also manages to slap in the face other queer celebrities who bravely came out of the closet even when doing so risked their careers/fortune. Stipe cowered in the closet until R.E.M.’s heyday had long since past and then, and only then, did he decide it was safe to come out. Idiot.

  2. starquisha says

    Irony…how early 90’s.Not funny, nothing close to insightful. Maybe just a little reminder of how completely out of touch Mr. Stipe seems to be with gay issues and how desperate R.E.M. must be to have anyone notice that they have new ‘product’. Says nothing to me about my life. L to the A to the M to the E…

  3. jamesp says

    yeah, REM was my fave band all through the 90s, but Stipe’s public angst has always been such a turn-off. and now that that angst pervades his music as well, so they’ve lost me quite a bit…

  4. says

    When R.E.M. because The Michael Stipe Show, and they jettisoned every scrap of mystique and charm they had originally in favor of heavy-handed, painfully obvious and mass-marketed “statements” (for the record, that was most anything following 1988’s ‘Green’ LP), it was all over. I “get” what Stipey’s trying to say with this ironic announcement, but it comes across as indulgent and self-serving more than anything else. I really didn’t need the man to come out when I was a fan, and I’m kinda past caring about it now. While what I’ve heard from ‘Accelerate’ sounds like a promising return to (kinda) form, we’ll see if the music can be heard over the din of La Stipe’s ego this time around.

  5. says

    I remember doing sound for them, way back before they became big (Trib-Tone days), and hearing them chat at soundcheck for a gig they were playing in Nashville (at Cantrell’s — would’ve been ’81 or ’82), I was convinced all of them were homophobic assholes. I was, then, the most closeted of the closeted, and I believed, somehow, that they knew *my* secret.

    I suppose, Stipe was, too, the most closeted of the closeted, at that time.

    So, while I regret Stipe’s coyness about all this — have for a long time — he’s only human. Maybe he wasn’t wired to deal with celebrity and being gay at the same time, or doing so in a way that would satisfy those for whom coming out was either easy, or no big deal, or something that could be expected of others without being in their skin.

    Maybe he’s wired in a way that he still can’t.

    Such is life.

    Oh, yeah. It’s his life, not yours.

  6. Trevor says

    i think its really ignorant to make a joke out of something you werent even able to do( jokes of coming out,when he had such a hard time) i dont think that this helped make him look intelligent, and i really dont think it helped anyones cause except for him to make it seem sily for people to come out…now we all understand the importants of public figures coming out to help move us forward, we get that it shouldnt be an issue micheal, but you of all people are the last to get to make coming out jokes…..i think i was born in the year that they had their first album, and yet i was still out of the closet before he was hahaha( see thats funny)

  7. says

    “Life is bigger
    It’s bigger than you
    And you are not me
    The lengths that I will go to
    The distance in your eyes
    Oh no I’ve said too much
    I’ve said enough
    That’s me in the corner
    That’s me in the spotlight
    Losing my religion
    Trying to keep up with you
    And I don’t know if I can do it
    Oh no I’ve said too much
    I haven’t said enough
    I thought that I heard you laughing
    I thought that I heard you sing
    I think I thought I saw you try

    Every whisper
    Of every waking hour I’m
    Choosing my confessions
    Trying to keep an eye on you
    Like a hurt lost and blinded fool
    Oh no I’ve said too much
    I’ve said enough

    Consider this
    The hint of the century
    Consider this
    The slip that brought me
    To my knees failed
    What if all these fantasies
    Come flailing around
    Now I’ve said too much
    I thought that I heard you laughing
    I thought that I heard you sing
    I think I thought I saw you cry

    But that was just a dream
    That was just a dream”


  8. patrick nyc says

    Stipe cowered in the closet until R.E.M.’s heyday had long since past and then, and only then, did he decide it was safe to come out. Idiot.

    Posted by: peterparker | Mar 21, 2008 4:26:23 PM

    Well said.

    To those who are still fighting to come out this is a slap in the face. Between this and his other latest post on Andy’s site, his lame quote about Schmuckabee:

    “I’ve never seen the guy [Huckabee] talk, not even online. I have never seen him talk for 30 seconds…[and] he’s really charming. I instantly wanted to call [Generation X author] Doug Coupland and say ‘OK, project one year into the future for me: what the hell does this mean?’ Because he’s a creationist, he’s a Baptist minister. I can’t think of probably a single issue in which I am even remotely in the same universe as that guy.and yet, he was kind of charming and self-deprecating. He was actually kind of a good sport, and funny, and I don’t know what that means. Maybe it’s a good thing that’s he’s being lauded right now by the right. He’s an evangelical. May God bless all living creatures but my god, how weird.”

    Go away Michael, just stop talking and just sing. At least you do that well, talking you suck at.

  9. whatever says

    Michael Stipe stayed in the closet because he wanted R.E.M. to be a big, arena touring, American band. And in the 1980’s they never would have gotten to that status if he came out. But now he sees himself as some kind of gay spokesman, which is pretty ironic to say the least.

    This video is not funny in any way. And whatever point it is suppose to make is not clear either.

  10. Ari says

    He was making a joke. What’s not to get? He relayed their coming out as “straight” as a positive, not a negative. Who are you people? I am embarrassed to walk among some of you. No sense of humor.

  11. EireKev says

    Every time I open a Towleroad post it’s with the same sense of trepidation. Simply because the majority of Towleroad commentators seem determined to find the negative in every single thread.

    This? This was a comment by Stipe on the insignificance/lameness of his public “coming out” (even more so considering he did it in Time magazine many years ago). I didn’t find it particularly funny or insightful but so what? Just because I might not find someone’s humour funny doesn’t make him an “asshole”. And just because he didn’t do it at the “peak of his fame” doesn’t mean he deserves my scorn. People should be allowed to live their lives the way they see fit. It seems to me that an awful lot of people here feel just as superior as the judgmental and moralistic right-wingers they rail against.

  12. Right on Stipe says

    Everyone is upset because Stipe decided to come out on his own time and of his own choosing. If it was guided by economic concerns then so be it. The fact is, he, like anyone else decides for themselves when, or if, they come out. He’s out now, but he’s still rich, still famous and now “has it all” and some gays just can’t stand that. And the pink elephant in the room is that everyone knows they would have done the exact same thing, because at the end of the day, it you choice alone to make. for whatever reasons, good or bad. bravo Stipe for doing it your own way. may other gays be so brave and independant minded.

  13. ARI says

    EireKev, BRAVO! You mirror my sentiments exactly. It is an awful feeling sometimes to read some of these posts…. what a negative, bitter bunch they can be.

  14. says

    Huh. I’m only 40(ish) and I’ve now lived to see a) dark ages of no/little support for those coming out b) period of warmth and support & making it easier and now c) those coming out get whapped by *other gay guys* because they did it “wrong” or should have already done it. Bummer :-(

  15. says

    Huh. I’m only 40(ish) and I’ve now lived to see a) dark ages of no/little support for those coming out b) period of warmth and support & making it easier and now c) those coming out get whapped by *other gay guys* because they did it “wrong” or should have already done it. Bummer :-(

  16. francesfrances says

    What really gets me is that he’s been SO outspoken about SO MANY issues during his career, yet he couldn’t stick more than an errant foot out of the closet until this past week.

    He can make all the reverse-engineered gag statements he wants. As long as I don’t see him atop any floats come Pride season. Because I don’t know if I will be able to resist the urge hurl various raw meats and poultry at his opportunist face.

  17. Speedieg says

    I always find in funny when people support staying in the closet for themselves or others, “let people choose their own time” blah, blah. Meanwhile GLBT people continue to be beaten, killed, hurt, and discriminated against while this so called celebrity enjoyed his fame and fortune. He might have done something to benefit our community instead he did nothing but coyly propagate making sexual preference innuendo a no no. Coming out of the closet makes a difference not only to onesself but also to all GLBT persons around you that need your strength to overcome their fear.

  18. tobethatguy says

    I agree whole-heartedly with eirikev that comments on this blog – and, to be fair, on most blogs – are so scornful and pessimistic.

    I wonder if that’s only because the people who comment are those people who feel so strongly about the topic that they feel compelled to respond. And our negative feelings tend to motivate us more than our positive feelings.

    I, for one, wish we could learn to focus on the good in life and even in “the news.”

    Here, I’ll start:

    The video was funny.
    I appreciate that Stipe “came out” publicly, which he did not have to do. None of us has to, and we certainly shouldn’t be expected to share our personal secrets with the mass media.

    Furthermore, I really enjoy Towleroad. I think it’s a fantastic blog. Thanks to its writers for this news and for posting the quirky video.

  19. David says

    bitch bitch bitch. it’s a joke. if you don’t think it’s funny, that’s fine. not all people have to come out, not all people have to be spokepersons for the gay community. just be thankful for those who do. why is it that most people equate not coming out with devil worship?

    i’m completely out in a profession that can be hostile. it’s tough and stressful sometimes, and i don’t think everyone has to do it. get off of your perch and do what you can to be a good example for the gay community, and quit your demonization of those who take a different path.


  20. says

    Aside from the fact that I believe prominent people in entertainment have a social responsibility to come out for the benefit of their community, to inspire awareness among those who are still misunderstood about what gay is (and isn’t)… I think the coming out process is often a scary and vulnerable time for a majority of gay people. It seems to me that Stipe is masking his insecure sexual ego with tasteless humor. It’s a sensitive subject that isn’t ready for that particular brand of comedy, which is pretty obvious when you take a look at the controversy surrounding it on this blog alone.

    And he gives a shitty delivery.

  21. Lead says

    Oh Paul, Peter f’n Parker et al go take a nice long warm enema and get a fooking grip on what matters in life. The majority of the snarky gay versus gay snipes here seem to sum up the current US blog zeitgeist – hate everyone and go blab it to the world behind the safety of your own little keyboard. Bravo David, Tobethatguy and the rest of Andy’s fans who can respect appreciate personal decisions and a damn funny joke!

  22. Ron says

    it’s kinda funny – in an “aren’t I important”, “i have a big ego”, self-indulgent, wanker kinda way – but I couldn’t help thinking how great it woulda been if it had been twenty years ago, or fifteen years ago – or even ten years ago – when he and his music were still relevant and really popular and his official coming out woulda meant something…
    hardly seems worth the fuss now – and it isn’t like we didn’t already know!
    i know there’s the economic argument – the guff about people in the media spotlight ruining their careers, etc if they come out, so they just play it coy and make the usual bland coverup statements or get themselves a beard –
    but what then annoys me is when they finally DO open the closet door, it’s always LONG after their career has peaked and they have nothing to lose – which is fine! – but then they’re treated – and seemingly expect to be treated – like some gay spokesmodel and martyr to the cause and like they’re sooo cool and noble for having done the deed.
    f***ing tedious!
    add stipe to the list now – joins the ranks of rupert everett, richard chamberlain, et al.
    >sigh< better late than never guys! your courage is to be lauded, etc.

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