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Which Backstreet Boys Member Calls Himself The Group's 'Fag Hag'?

Pride Source's Chris Azzopardi spoke with Backstreet Boy AJ McLean about the group's gay fan base and their support for equality. 

Here's an excerpt:

Pride Source: The video for the album's first single, "In a World Like This," celebrates marriage equality. Why was it important to take that stance with that music video?

AJ McLean: It stemmed from me personally. I have a lot of gay friends and two of my best friends have been together for almost 10 years. And living in California, it's been so friggin' frustrating to me that they could not get it right; they couldn't pass the bill. Then, literally, right after we dropped the video, they actually passed the bill (allowing LGBT people to get married) in California, and I was just ecstatic. I just love the fact that people love each other, no matter if they're the same sex or not. I think everybody's equal, period.

I had just seen the Macklemore video for "Same Love" and that really inspired me. Knowing what the subject was about for "In a World Like This" - about love conquering all - we had talked with the director about basically having different moments in history that really were very impactful. We had done the first two, and then we were like, "What's the last one gonna be?" I was like, "Why don't we do something about same-sex marriage? We have a huge gay following and it's a huge deal." The guys were all on board and we made it happen. I was so happy about it.


Thinking back on it, I've been in this business since I was 3 and I grew up in musical theater, so I was raised and surrounded by gay men and gay women. I was hardly around anyone straight.

It's amazing you're straight, actually.

It kind of is. Everyone always says, "When you look at a boy band, one of them has to be gay." No, they don't. Instead of me being gay, I'm the fag hag.


It's clear from the full interview (and potentially from this excerpt) that McLean is a supporter of the gays.

How do you feel about him appropriating the term "fag hag" for himself, Instincters?


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 The More Straight Allies that are willing to embrace the term and mean it and are standing by our sides... I am ALL for it! I would happily call A.J. a Fag Hag and Welcome him into the Hag Fold Graciously! :-D

I don't have a problem with it, because I know AJ's heart and he is on our side. I'm more concerned about the likes of Pat Robertson and his spreading lies about how we gays wear rings and cut each other with them and that's how we spread AIDS.

While I am aware that people have issues surrounding this particular moniker (and I have plenty of my own regarding our community's practice of co-opting epithets to "disempower" them) I have always found the term "fag-hag" to be rather cute, especially when compared to some others in the same vein- "fruit fly" is the first that comes to mind.  

That said, I have long been a serious fan of the Boys; I have seen them mention many times in interviews that they are very aware, and enormously appreciative, of their gay fan base.  I am almost embarrassed to admit how I felt when I saw that they would be celebrity marshals in the SF Gay Pride Parade a few years ago, & right in front of MY contingent, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, too.  I had the pleasure of saying hello & shaking hands with the four who were there (Kevin was not among them at the time), & my biggest regret was that I had nothing to use to collect autographs.  

Obviously, therefore, I may be a little biased - but I can think of many, MANY worse things that AJ could call himself, or others could call him, for that matter.  The fact that he even KNOWS the term speaks volumes to me about his connection to our community, and the Boys' commitment to us.  

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