- Music, Film & Theatre
From Sia to Elton John, Dusty Springfield to Little Richard, LGBT voices have changed the course of modern music. But in a world before they gained understanding and a place in the mainstream, how did the queer musicians of yesteryear fight to build foundations for those who would come after them?
Pulling back the curtain on the colourful legacy that has shaped all of our musical and cultural landscape, music aficionado and writer Darryl W. Bullock reveals the inspiring and often heart-breaking stories of internationally renowned stars, as well as numerous lesser-known names that have driven the revolution from all corners of the globe: those whose personal stories against the threat of persecution during decades of political and historical turmoil – including two world wars, Stonewall and the AIDS crisis – has led to some of the most significant and soul-searching music of the last century. Bullock chronicles these struggles through new interviews and archival reports, dating from the birth of jazz in the red-light district of New Orleans, through the rock ‘n’ roll years, Swinging Sixties and all-singing and all-dancing disco days of the ‘70s, right up to modern pop, electronica and reggae.
A treasure-trove of untold histories, David Bowie Made Me Gay is a moving and provocative story of the right to be heard and the need to keep the fight for equality in the spotlight.
‘Lovingly detailed and exhaustively researched – easily the most readable and comprehensive guide I've seen to this fascinating hidden history’ Tom Robinson, musician, broadcaster and long-time LGBT rights activist.
‘An excellent book’ GayStarNews
'Darryl W. Bullock leaves no stone unturned in his analysis of this crucial part of LGBT culture' Men 24 Magazine
‘Probably the best title I’ve seen all year; this is a chronicle of the lives and impact of LGBT artists, both well-known and obscure. It’s really fascinating’ Wilde on My Side
‘A fascinating chronicle [and] a necessary and hard-hitting reminder that there is still progress to be made… a comprehensive and compelling work, in terms of its extensive discussion of music, history and, of course, a human struggle for tolerance, acceptance and respect’ Nudge Books
'A great read that reveals how the marriage of music and sexuality can create new and exciting horizons' Sean Dickson, Hifi Sean
'A history that digs deep' R’n’R (Rock‘n’Reel)
'A fascinating book, a fascinating subject – oh to have a look around [Darryl's] record collection!' Grant Stott on the Janice Forsyth Show, BBC Radio Scotland.
‘Utterly engrossing… a deep and dense history, examining in rich detail the progression of artists and their musical expression, following smoothly from period to period’ Dublin University Observer
‘Follows the history of LGBT music, discovering well-known artists and a huge number of forgotten, often-declared LGBT performers who were active far before Stonewall’ XXZ Magazin
‘Starting at the birth of jazz in New Orleans and the touring troupes and cabaret groups, through the swinging sixties with icons like Dusty Springfield, to the infamously tortured experience of LGBT artists in the 1980s, the book arrives in the present day having charted the journey culture has taken’ Bristol 24/7
‘A comprehensive look back at a century’s worth of queer artists’ Gay Power Couple
'A highly comprehensive history of LGBT music, spanning a century from early jazz and blues to today’s most recognizable pop stars out of the closet. Bullock meticulously chronicles the LGBT community’s vast influence on music through a historical lens, revealing how society’s oscillation between acceptance and persecution has shaped what we listen to today' The Washington Blade
'Well-researched and brimming with intrigue, Bullock's comprehensive study not only makes the work of scores of musicians sing anew; it also demonstrates how the pendulum of acceptance can swing from era to era' Kirkus Reviews
'Recovers the lost history of music made by, and for, the LGBTQ community. Bullock touches on artists as unalike and historically far-flung as the flamboyant ragtime-era pianist Tony Jackson... [whose music], decades before Lady Gaga’s gay-positive song 'Born This Way' hit the airwaves, gave hope to fearful, isolated LGBTQ kids' Publishers Weekly
‘Bullock’s comprehensive look at a century of LBGTQ music and musicians is concise, informative, life-affirming, and just damn good reading’ Library Journal
'Bullock's sensational reference guide uncovers a lot of fascinating and unfamiliar queer history and shares it in an entertaining and breezy style’ Shelf Awareness
‘Extensively researched… sure footed… concise and engaging’ Nudge Books
‘David Bowie Made Me Gay is nostalgic and solidly researched, and full of gems to remind us of the battles that have been raged by popular music… the battles that are still raging. It shows the soundtrack for a community fighting for basic freedoms and reveals many untold stories that have been hidden from history’ Out in Perth
‘Densely detailed and eminently entertaining’ Lavender Magazine
‘A comprehensive, illuminating and entertaining celebration of LGBT singers, composers, producers and musicians who created music over the last century… Bullock's sensational reference guide uncovers a lot of fascinating and unfamiliar queer history and shares it in an entertaining and breezy style.’ Shelf Awareness for Readers
‘David Bowie Made Me Gay is an important volume. One that deserves to be read. One that deserves to be taught.’ New York Journal of Books
‘Bullock has reached far beyond the famous and infamous and created an invaluable resource for anyone interested in LGBT or musical history’ Lambda Literary
‘Darryl W. Bullock's highly readable cultural history on the contributions of LGBT musicians and figures to 20th century music is remarkable in breadth.’ Buffalo News
‘Thoroughly researched and yet highly readable, this book is sure to please music lovers and historians alike.’ Bookish