“What in the 80s 😳,” one TikTok user commented below the video. “Did Madonna just come out? And I witness it in real time?? writes another.
The singer’s apparent coming out follows clues she’s dropped over the years about her sexual orientation as well as her decades of gay support that turned her into a queer icon. Famous, in 2003, she kissed Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera as they perform onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Madonna, who rose to 80s stardom with hits like “Lucky Star”, “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl”, started raising awareness about HIV/AIDS during the epidemic of this decade, fighting the stigma of HIV and raising funds for to research. His music and performances also drew on his support for LGBTQ issues. His 1989 song “Express Yourself,” for example, became a gay anthem and something of a precursor to Lady Gaga’s 2011 single “Born This Way.” of the black, Latino and queer ballroom scene, in which underground drag queen contests popularized the vogue dance style.
Madonna “was a gay icon before she saw the gay in her,” said Ankit Verma, a fan and freelance writer who lives in Bangalore, India.
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Many fans assumed that Madonna was bisexual since she told the Lawyer in 1991 that she thinks “everyone has a bisexual nature”. His TikTok doesn’t rule out the possibility, as “gay” has often been used as an umbrella term, especially for older LGBTQ members.
Verma, 25, said she found Madonna’s TikTok clip a “beautiful fusion of a journey that has inspired generations of [the] queer community to find their voice.
Verma, who is queer, said he became a fan of Madonna when he heard her song ‘Ray of Light,’ which portrayed Buddhism and Hinduism in a way he had never seen in West before.
“For someone like me from India, she made me feel like I belonged. It was good to be different. My deviance was not bad,” he said. “We had no representation here. She gave us this.
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Matt Bernstein, a 23-year-old political content creator in New York, said Madonna helped him understand LGBTQ history as a high school student learning about his own sexuality.
“It connects me to my community and my culture, my history,” he said. “I think there’s real significance to that.”
Due to Madonna’s significant presence and contributions to the LGBTQ community, he believes she deserves respect and the freedom to express herself as she chooses.
“When people around Madonna’s age were young, it was much less safe to go out,” Bernstein said. “I always save room for gay adults.”