One of George Michael’s legacy is that he provided a gay image at a time when there were so few. In 1998, public opinion was so opposed to LGBTQ that even a liberal Hollywood refused to embrace the gay community. Through his video “Outside” he showed his gay audience that it’s ok to be who you are. To not feel shame but embrace, even feel proud of being you.
“I think it’s important that I can be out there and say that I’m a big tart and still have a big smash album. When I was tempted to give up in the middle of making this album, one of the things that made that difficult for me is that I would have felt I’d have let down a whole generation of young gay kids. That they’d think ‘he’s massive, then he comes out and then he’s gone’. When I made the ‘Outside’ video I knew I was helping a whole generation of 15-year-olds who are cruising and dying of shame about it. I felt that lightening the stigma around cruising was the most immediately beneficial thing I could do. I know for a fact that when I was 16, 17, when I started cruising, that watching the ‘Outside’ video would have taken some of the weight off my shoulders.”
- George Michael on the Thrill of Cruising (Attitude, Part 4)
- George Michael’s Interview with the Gay Magazine ‘The Advocate’ (1999)
- George Michael Interview with Capital FM Radio with Dr. Fox (Dec 1998)
- George Michael: Artist or Airhead? (Musician, 1988)
- George Michael’s Interview with Gay Times (2007)