Theory on musical taste

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theeetimdoherty
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I have a theory that the gay STEREOTYPE that all (male) gays listen to roughly the same music is based on identity. I feel like when gay people first enter the gay community they adopt the identity of being gay, which is especially natural if the gay community is the only place in which they feel valid. Having adopted the 'gay identity', I feel like this explains why so many gay men listen to a similar set of artists, ones which reflect the gay community and/or are already admired by a lot of gays. Music that they feel represents who they are.

In a similar way I'd say that this can explain a lot of other groups' music tastes. Straight guys trying to up their masculinity often listen to music that is deemed masculine and stay far away from anything mildly feminine. Emos listen overwhelmingly to emo music, as defined by the emo community, because they themselves identify as emo. Chavs (not as in disadvantaged people but as in excessively materialistic and unsophisticated people) often listen to music that reflects their materialism.
It's easy to say that your personality is what defines your music taste but

Btw I don't mean to offend anyone, I'm just sharing reflections on my own experience as a gay guy who listens to stereotypically gay music. Admittedly I steer clear of masculine music as well (except maybe Michael Jackson, though he's often described as effeminate). When I was starting out in the gay community and the identity part was a big deal I listened to Gaga, RuPaul, Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Charli XCX etc, all gay icons, but now that I've kind of grown and become less dependent on the gay community I suddenly find them repetitive and listen to all kinds of music.

This has become a kind if rant but i'd be interesting to hear what other people have to say on the issue.
Last edited by theeetimdoherty; 1 year ago
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gjd800
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I dunno, might be some truth to it. I have two close gay mates though, and one is a superb metal guitarist (but listens to almost as much stuff as I do) and the other is a hard house DJ :laugh:
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fernsehturm
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My personal experience (and that of a couple of others I know) is the other way round...I was into Kylie, Madonna, Carly Rae Jepsen, Years and Years and other mainstream pink pop way before I could say I was gay and never saw the connection until recently.I guess you have to ask why most of us like this kind of music in the first place - it's not arbitrary...

On the other hand, I know a couple of gay guys not into the stereotype music at all. And everyone's different.
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vortex13
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I do think that’s there’s some merit to this theory. One of my gay friends started acting overly stereotypically gay as soon as he came out- trying out makeup, saying stuff like ‘yassss Queen’, wearing dresses, musical theatre etc. I thought this was because he had few gay rolemodels except for the ones in pop culture and media, and wanted to fit in with the gay community or just experimenting with things that are typically associated with the community as a whole. Some of it didn’t stick and he found his own interests outside of what is stereotypically seen as gay, but some of it (like the interest in musical theatre) certainly did
(Original post by theeetimdoherty)
I have a theory that the gay STEREOTYPE that all (male) gays listen to roughly the same music is based on identity. I feel like when gay people first enter the gay community they adopt the identity of being gay, which is especially natural if the gay community is the only place in which they feel valid. Having adopted the 'gay identity', I feel like this explains why so many gay men listen to a similar set of artists, ones which reflect the gay community and/or are already admired by a lot of gays. Music that they feel represents who they are.

In a similar way I'd say that this can explain a lot of other groups' music tastes. Straight guys trying to up their masculinity often listen to music that is deemed masculine and stay far away from anything mildly feminine. Emos listen overwhelmingly to emo music, as defined by the emo community, because they themselves identify as emo. Chavs (not as in disadvantaged people but as in excessively materialistic and unsophisticated people) often listen to music that reflects their materialism.
It's easy to say that your personality is what defines your music taste but

Btw I don't mean to offend anyone, I'm just sharing reflections on my own experience as a gay guy who listens to stereotypically gay music. Admittedly I steer clear of masculine music as well (except maybe Michael Jackson, though he's often described as effeminate). When I was starting out in the gay community and the identity part was a big deal I listened to Gaga, RuPaul, Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Charli XCX etc, all gay icons, but now that I've kind of grown and become less dependent on the gay community I suddenly find them repetitive and listen to all kinds of music.

This has become a kind if rant but i'd be interesting to hear what other people have to say on the issue.
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londonmyst
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Maybe.
Some people may try too hard to fit in fearing rejection, using musical taste as a measure of group identity.
Initially forcing themselves to totally assimilate, before realizing that the community welcomes them irrespective of their musical preferences.
Particularly if they have been disowned by their families, abandoned by friends or are very lonely.
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theeetimdoherty
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I feel like that places too much on emphasis on the idea that gay people listen to music for the sake of fitting in, rather than because they like the music. I would say instead that, in having adopted the identity, gay music is something which makes them feel good and so they do genuinely like the music. I'm sure there're people who do listen to music they dislike for the sake of fitting in but for the most part I feel as if gay people do genuinely like 'gay music'.
(Original post by londonmyst)
Maybe.
Some people may try too hard to fit in fearing rejection, using musical taste as a measure of group identity.
Initially forcing themselves to totally assimilate, before realizing that the community welcomes them irrespective of their musical preferences.
Particularly if they have been disowned by their families, abandoned by friends or are very lonely.
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theeetimdoherty
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(Original post by vortex13)
I do think that’s there’s some merit to this theory. One of my gay friends started acting overly stereotypically gay as soon as he came out- trying out makeup, saying stuff like ‘yassss Queen’, wearing dresses, musical theatre etc. I thought this was because he had few gay rolemodels except for the ones in pop culture and media, and wanted to fit in with the gay community or just experimenting with things that are typically associated with the community as a whole. Some of it didn’t stick and he found his own interests outside of what is stereotypically seen as gay, but some of it (like the interest in musical theatre) certainly did
Yeah, he sounds a bit like me. I stayed in the closet during my gay realisation phase so didn't actively pursue things like musical theatre and drag but according to my friends my voice and my mannerisms definitely changed because of it. I know so many young gay guys starting out that are intensely involved in the whole RuPaul drag community and let it define them - I guess the need to fit in is worse when you're an insecure teenager.
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theeetimdoherty
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(Original post by MontyZuma)
My personal experience (and that of a couple of others I know) is the other way round...I was into Kylie, Madonna, Carly Rae Jepsen, Years and Years and other mainstream pink pop way before I could say I was gay and never saw the connection until recently.I guess you have to ask why most of us like this kind of music in the first place - it's not arbitrary...

On the other hand, I know a couple of gay guys not into the stereotype music at all. And everyone's different.
Yeah when I was writing my ideas I thought about that contradiction because I was the same. I loved Lady Gaga and all that even before accepting my sexuality but I feel like lot's of children like catchy, feminine songs. I know several guys who grew up to be masculine homophobes that used to sing along to Lady Gaga with me in primary school - perhaps they adopted their own masculine identities and came to dislike feminine music. idk, i'm no sociologist.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by theeetimdoherty)
Yeah when I was writing my ideas I thought about that contradiction because I was the same. I loved Lady Gaga and all that even before accepting my sexuality but I feel like lot's of children like catchy, feminine songs. I know several guys who grew up to be masculine homophobes that used to sing along to Lady Gaga with me in primary school - perhaps they adopted their own masculine identities and came to dislike feminine music. idk, i'm no sociologist.
You are right to a point. Of course you are going to listern to the same music of your peers just as you are going to dress and posture in the same manner. Mirroring someone is a sign of friendship and intimacy and is echoed in the animal world.

But as for taste, if your intake is limited by your peers, your preferences in music are also going to be limited.
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