The Lens

Stop Having Gay Sex to this Totally Hetero Song

There are few things in life gayer than the Village People. A rainbow-dyed faux hawk? Maybe. A strawberry-scented lace cockring? Perhaps. But the Village People are the disco queens of retro queerness. Right?

As it turns out: maybe not. Founding member Victor Willis recently “came out” against the pervasive belief that the tunes shaping our formative years were LGBTQ anthems.

Willis claims that the bathhouse classic YMCA is not about “illicit gay sex” – so what the hell have we been humping to all these years? Perhaps we should take a closer listen to the lyrics Willis penned back in 1978.

“Young man, there’s a place you can go. I said, young man, when you’re short on your dough. You can stay there, and I’m sure you will find many ways to have a good time.”

Totally straight synthesizer flourish!

“It’s fun to stay at the YMCA. [repeat for emphasis] They have everything for your man to enjoy. You can hang out with all the boys.”

Now let’s take a moment to zip up and break down this avalanche of poetry, shall we? How many ways can you have a good time at the YMCA? I mean, there’s Lance, Jimmy, Double-Jointed Rob, and Two-Pumps McGee, but after you make the rounds with those horndogs, what else is there to do? Yoga, I guess… moving on.

They have everything for your man to enjoy. You can hang out with all the boys.

This is a particularly fabulous stanza, and one that stands out like an accidental arousal in a group shower. What on god’s gay earth could Willis have possibly meant by these rugged musings?

Let’s ask the queer cop – oops, we mean songwriter himself.

“I wrote it about hanging out in urban neighbourhoods in my youth,” Willis tells an Australian news outlet. “You can hang out with all the boys was a term about me and my friends playing basketball at the Y. But I wanted to write a song that could fit anyone’s lifestyle. I’m happy the gay community adopted it as their anthem, I have no qualms with that.”

With a defensive pout, Willis continues, “It was not written to be a gay song because of the simple fact I’m not gay.”

Mmhmm, well that explains why Willis went on to write Macho Man, In the Navy, and various limericks on the men’s room wall at Studio 54. The author of YMCA may deny the ditty’s gaggingly gay nature, but our aching loins beg to disagree. In fact, in the spirit of late 70s/early 80s sass, we respond with a hearty throwback “What you talkin’ about, Willis?”

Judge for yourselves…

 

 

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Published by
Kevin Perry

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