Art Or The Artist?

Do you need to agree with an artist’s lifestyle or politics to appreciate their art? To spend money on it?

It does matter on certain things. When you appreciate a painting, a drawing, a song or an acting role does it really matter what the artist or creator behind it thinks or does in his / her free time? Does it matter who or what they have sex with and what else they are interested in? Not to me! Does it matter about their religious views, political views, views on abortion, morality, the LGBT community etc etc? Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.

When I was younger I worried about liking gay musicians, thinking that my family & community will look down on it. I don’t anymore. I could care less if my any of my favourite musicians are gay or straight, as long as their music appeals to me. In my list of gay musicians I like are Rufus Wainwright, Elton John, Rob Halford, Melissa Ethridge, Teagan & Sara & the occasional KD Lang song. Some of the actors I admire include Ian McKellan, Ellen Degeneres, Portia DeRossie, Sarah Paulson, Dan “Bulldog from Frasier” Butler, Victor Garber, George Takei, Stephen Fry, David Hyde Pierce & Neil Patrick Harris to just name a few. And ofcourse I was a big admirer of Martina Navratilova. Does it matter? Ofcourse not! I love & admire these personalities and their work and I don’t care if they are straight or gay as long as they keep being amazing.

Overly religious musicians do bother me at times but I have a bunch of musicians in my favourite bands who are born again Christians and such and that hasn’t led me to change my opinion on their music. If a rock star is destructive or abusive and violent I may get turned off and not support them anymore. I stopped being a Michael Jackson fan by 1992 but the child abuse cases really damaged my opinion of him. He wasn’t right mentally anyway and I guess that softened the blow a bit. By the time of his death I managed to just respect his music and some of his songs for what they are and forget his weirdness but child molestation is not something I take lightly. Similarly what they say or do does act my judgement but it depends on what it is.

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