I consider the generation who was born in the mid to late 80's the last ones who really grew up without the emergence of technology (iPhone, iPads, Macs, etc) taking over our lives.
Yes, we had television, movies, and all of that, but there was an innocence that we got to experience that this generation doesn't. The ones growing up today also doesn't really appreciate just how amazing music videos were back in the day and how they shaped not only the lives of the artists who made them but also for a lot of people who identify as LGBTQIA.
What I mean by that is there has been hundreds of music videos made that has helped many of us on the sleigh ride to our sexuality. Maybe it was a beat, maybe it was a shirtless guy, maybe it was an icon that we were so drawn to that it brought us to another level in determining who we were on the spectrum of LGBTQIA.
Music, for me, will always be my greatest love. It has given me moments, when I was growing up, that helped me truly figure out my sexuality at a time when being gay wasn't the "in" thing yet. A lot of these videos aren't necessarily "gay", nor are they sung and acted out by people in our community, but from my point of view, they helped me come out when I was in high school and were a big part of why I have been an out and proud gay man for almost two decades.
Here are five music videos that helped me along the path to being happily gay.
LL Cool J- "Doin It"
LL will be my eternal crush, as he exemplifies so many traits that I find hot in a man. It was around 1996 when I was starting to really understand my attraction towards men instead of women, and when I saw this video, it pretty much pushed me over the edge to really grasping that I may just be gay.
I was entranced by this video from the moment I saw it. The dancing in it was a technique that I had no idea about, and learned where it was inspired from when I first saw the movie Paris is Burning back in the late 90's. After seeing that film, I understood why this video had such an impact on me as a gay kid growing up in this decade, as these people represented freedom and evolution in a time where homophobia was still rampant.
George Michael- "Faith"
His butt in those jeans. Nothing more needs to be said.
Spice Girls- "Wannabe"
Here's what I love and continue to love about The Spice Girls. Their whole presence in the 90's was about "girl power". When I was figuring out my sexuality, I was able to loosely translate what they were doing and find the "girl power" inside myself that really was just being able to be an openly gay person without fear of what other people would think. I still to this day do not think they have a clue as to the impact they have made on the LGBTQIA community twenty plus years later.
Ricky Martin- "Livin La Vida Loca"
I like all types of men, no matter what their background is. However, Ricky was my first true crush outside of LL Cool J, and seeing him in this video solidified that. Call me sometime, Ricky (I know you are married, but I can dream.)
This was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.