While few would argue the omnipresence of Britney Spears in many gay young men’s bedrooms, dance clubs and gyms, her status as a gay icon is certainly up for debate.
On the one hand, she embodies so many of the qualities that have come to define a gay icon. She’s an over-the-top dance music diva whose brazen sexuality and come hither cooing have beguiled the public’s imagination since her late-‘90s debut. Veering further and further into camp, she’s got the costumes, elaborate Vegas show and even the cheesy feature film under her belt. Beyond the theatrics, like Marilyn and Judy before her, she’s got the tragic elements of her story as well.
At the same time, she hasn’t exactly been the outspoken defender of the gay community like, say, Lady Gaga. In fact, she hasn’t very eloquently spoken on the subject at all. After patronizingly calling her gay fans “adorable” on-air at 99.7 NOW FM, she went on to give a fascinating interview to Pride Source in which she failed to see why that could be seen as belittling and further described gay men as “somewhat girls.”
OK. So she’s not going to be anyone’s first pick to speak at a rally any time soon. But, bless her heart, she means well. Right? Maybe she’s sort of like Donna Summer, who, despite her own complicated relationship with the gay community, stakes claim to a part of our culture.
Explore some of the ways Britney made her mark, and share your thoughts, AFTER THE JUMP …