When does a Queen Die?

In the late 1970s I lived on Sunset Blvd near the border with West Hollywood.

I lived with a foot in two very differnt worlds.  I was both a serious feminist and a hip faghag Hollywood grrl.

Like now I was an information vacuum and read all the gay and lesbian news including gossip.

There was a blind item in one of the gay newspapers, probably one I picked up from a bar about a teenage idol who was very feminine and wanted to change his sex.

Now there were several teenage, Tiger, Teen Beat, boy idols who fit the general description.

Including some cute young white boys who were already being spotted in the gay bars of Santa Monica Blvd.

Another item told how frantic his management was about keeping him from doing this and how they were using every tool at their disposal including religion and ministers to keep him a male.

As the years turned into decades I watched a cute young boy turn into a very strange adult with a string of hits Billie-Jean, Thriller, Bad.  A musical genius with oh so danceable songs.

Every appearance he grew stranger and stranger.  A real life Spider from Mars, only with Bowie we were always in on the joke that his changes were Warholian shifts of images, artificial constructs and not reflections of a deep seated pathology.

But by the early 1990s Michael’s changes seemed to reflect a darker more deep seated motivation, a pathology of the dream deferred.  As the gay poet Langston Hughes asked, “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun or does it explode?”

Then came the charges of child molestation and I believed them for that was what happened with priests who denied their true natures and tried to kill what was most real about themselves.

The last few times Michael Jackson made public appearances he looked like  the reverse of the picture of Dorian Gray.  Like there is an image of a sweet young want to be transkid hidden away somewhere and the physical presence show all that happens when one dances on the edge but always denies.

Michal Jackson is dead, the queen, the transkid died many times over the years

One Response to “When does a Queen Die?”

  1. Diana Says:

    Thank you for this report. This is a really interesting issue. I always wondered about Michal Jackson, but there was one thing that made me question that he was transsexual. And that was that he never transitioned through surgery, although he seemed to have every advantage and no reason not to. By a relatively early age, he had all money in the world, and few attachments. He spent a lot of his life living very privately. Obviously he had no aversion to surgery. If transsexuality was his problem, why not fix it? There seemed to be nothing in his way.

    But the fact that you saw actual reports of his (well, apparently his) struggles early on, and read that his abuse extended to and focused on this point may explain a lot. Based on this, I am inclined to think he was trans after all.

    Either way, I feel so sorry for him. With everything he had, who among us would have traded lives!

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