Is Europe Gayer Than the U.S. Because of Kylie Minogue?

What comes to mind after reading, “Kylie Minogue,” might make a difference depending which country you’re from.
Kylie Minogue. Photo: copyright 2010 CNN.com

What comes to mind after reading, “Kylie Minogue,” might make a difference depending which country you’re from.

Most Europeans will probably know her as the star who has a hit with almost every album and single she releases. They may have seen her on one (or more) of her tours at some point. She’s a part of regular pop culture in Europe.

In the United States, I remember hearing one of her songs played three times on one radio station. One song. One station. Three times in my life. Furthermore, Wikipedia says her 11th concert tour in 2009 was her first to go to North America, even though she’s been touring since 1989.

Now, I have a thing for musical gay icons. They’re near and dear to my heart, and I’m always looking for more. Luckily for me, a few years ago I discovered online that Kylie is considered an icon, and some people think she’s even more inspiring than Madonna for the gay community. This was enough for me to at least try her music, and since then I’ve been hooked. A lot of gay men in America love her, I’ve learned. Mainstream American culture just has not been so forthcoming.

Here in Florence, it’s quite normal to hear a new single of hers, “All The Lovers,” several times a day as I walk by stores. I heard it in France. I heard it in Germany. Needless to say, Kylie is a big deal in Europe.

Clearly, it’s a little bit ridiculous to suggest Europe is friendlier for gays just because of one gay icon’s popularity (even though Madonna is also more popular here… I see a trend). However, I think it does mean at least something, especially for my personal experience here in Italy.

Sure, Europe is hugely gay-friendly. However, “Italy remains one of the few Western European countries without laws that recognize same-sex couples,” according to an article on advocate.com. From my own experience as well, Italy is less progressive for LGBT people than other countries I’ve visited. So when I hear “All The Lovers” for the third time in a day, I can be happy knowing that even though Italy has a way to go as far as legal rights for gay love, they love a gay icon.

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