Make Up

Here is Lou Reed being progressive, as usual. Why this hasn’t become the coming-out anthem of everybody who’s ever come out… is probably only because most of them haven’t heard of it. I would think it’s a pretty inspiring exhortation to leave those closets behind and take to the street. Even without it, it’s clear from the start that the person putting on their morning makeup is doing so against the wishes of society. Reed documented a small and embattled – but proud! – social group, one most people were unaware of. He doesn’t really get a lot of credit for being an agent of social change; he wasn’t much of an activist, in the get up and make a speech sense. He’s not held up as a gay icon – too butch or something – or even as a figure in the movement; he was more a documentarian than a contributor, I guess. But I think he did contribute one very important thing; he helped create the image of New York City as a mythical, dangerous-yet-safe place where people, who felt like outcasts for reasons they may not even known the words for, could come to create identities forbidden to them elsewhere. New York was a place, one of the few places, where Candy Darling could exist, and be, in her own way, a superstar. And how would you know, in Miami FLA, that Candy and others like her did exist, except through a Lou Reed album?


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