Why I struggle to love Madonna by Matthew Harris:
Queers have responded. Drop a Madonna song at a gay club, and watch the hands rise up. For many of us, there is a joy in this sense of ownership: Madonna is ours in a way that other artists aren’t. Madonna remembers us, and we remember her – and that’s perhaps the strongest identifier of what a gay icon is. Realizing that everyone at a club feels pretty much the same way you do about an artist can be a powerful thing. Even now, when parts of the wider culture still argue that homosexuals are confused or unnatural, there is something reassuring and satisfying about the predictability – the naturalness – of hands rising in the air when a Madonna song plays. Communally dancing to a sympathetic diva can be close to bliss.
But even with all of this, I’m not sure I love her. As a gay man, I sometimes feel like I’ve been drafted into liking Madonna by the circumstances of my sexuality. Madonna is not a particularly warm artist. Madonna has never made me cry, as Kylie’s “All the Lovers” unexpectedly did to me one day recently.
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