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#QueerQuote: ”In a Room Full of People, Want Yourself First.” – Grace Jones

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Grace Jones is one of the most creative and transgressive musicians of the 1980s; She gave voice to the oppressed by offering a bold example of what it means to be free.

As late as the 1970s, it was illegal for two people of the same sex to dance together in many places in the USA. Gay people risked losing their jobs with even the hint of their sexuality being revealed. Before that Internet thing, it was in gay bars, clubs, and discos that the seeds of liberation were sown, and dance music was the soundtrack.

In 1975, Jones appeared on the scene, and when she sang I Need A Man, all lusty and rough, she was not just singing to gay people, but also for them, and as one of them. Jones is about as gay as a straight person can be. Her persona celebrates gayness, blackness and subverted gender norms. She was unlike anyone else in pop music: feminine, supple, seductive, butch and lewd. Ebony Magazine wrote of her:

 ”Grace Jones is a question mark followed by an exclamation point.”


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