A To Z: Queer Celebrities Who Saved And Inspired Me

No one should have to deal with sexism, homophobia and of course prejudices against mental illness all at once.

Life for a queer girl with bpd (borderline personality disorder) isn’t easy. Not even in movies. So sifting through the shit that life dealt out on my plate wasn’t easy. No one should have to deal with sexism, homophobia and of course prejudices against mental illness all at once. So naturally, I was a very, very angry kid.

Though some of the anger still remains, life is much easier as a cartoonist with the knowledge of how to channelise it and use it to my advantage. Misdirected humour notwithstanding.

While I am wiser than my years, I have to admit, most of my wisdom is borrowed from writers, actors and musicians who fought against odds. Without them, life really would have been a series of continuous disappointments.
Freddie Mercury

When 12 year old Farrokh Bulsara became a part of a band called the Hectics in St Peter’s School in Maharashtra, little did anyone know that he would grow up to be Freddie Mercury – one of the most important gay icons in the history of music.
From creating some of the greatest rock anthems of all time, to breaking gender and sexuality norms, Mercury’s contribution to the world of any queer adolescent is undeniable.

After all, if a shy 12 year old could become THE Freddie Mercury, there is no reason why the rest of us shouldn’t be allowed to dream. For you see, it is only when you have dreams that they come true.

Graham Chapman

When I was younger, I didn’t have a sense of humour. Of course I didn’t – I was surrounded by absolute idiots of various shapes and sizes. And they were all incredibly talented at infuriating me for their own sets of special reasons.

I had almost given up on even understanding jokes well before I turned into an adult. But in a world with Monty Python, it is a little hard to give up on laughs.
One of the members of Monty Python, Graham Chapman might have appeared to be a docile, pipe-smoking blonde gentleman to the world, but in reality he was a mad, mad genius.

His impeccable comic timing, inappropriate humour and of course words of wisdom taught me one very important lesson in life. Survival gets a lot more fun if you have a sense of humour.

Harvey Fierstein
Honest, talented and fabulous, Harvey Feirstein’s most iconic roles have been the ones he has pulled off in drag. A gay rights activist with a very fiery tongue, Fierstein’s no-nonsense persona gives me the courage to call out homophobes and bigots.

Ian McKellan

Gandalf the Gay. Enough said.

James Baldwin

Writer, activist and social critic, James Baldwin’s writings over the years have proved him to be one of the most passionate fighters for equality.By writing extensively about homosexuality and homoeroticism, he did manage to infuriate more than enough orthodox minds of his age, but he also left behind a honest legacy that makes every queer reader wiser, braver, more aware and more responsible.

 

…to be continued. 

About the guest author

Solo

Solo writes comics, writes about comics and hoards cats. You can read her webcomics at: www.stripteasethemag.com