Friday, November 16, 2007

Meeting Mary...

Here are a few snippets from my forthcoming Advocate interview with Mary J. Blige

Mary on her gay fans: "The majority of my fans are gay. The majority of them are, and I have to really make sure that they know I’m paying attention to the fact that they support me, and I support them."

On gay folk in her life as a young girl:
When I was growing up, my neighborhood was full of everyone—black, white, Latino, gay, straight. A lot of people that I knew were gay, but they were great people. They were good people. It’s not like they were alien. They were just people. That [acceptance] was just something that was always in me. I’ve never been a judgmental person because I have been through so much hell myself."

On when she first realized she had so many gay & lesbian fans:
"I realized that years ago. Like, probably during…was it Share My World or Mary? It was probably during the Mary album that I realized I had so many gay fans, because one of my managers at the time was gay and him and all his friends were die-hard Mary fans. And then there’s a lot of gay women that love Mary J. Blige—a slew of gay women. And that’s never been something to bother me. Never. Because we’re all people at the end of the day.'"

On the loss of her friend songwriter Kenny Greene to AIDS, and why she got involved with AIDS causes: "[AIDS] was the elephant in the room that nobody’s looking at. It made me be like, Oh, this is right at our front door. This can touch us. So why wouldn’t I want to get involved with something that can help save all our lives, save everybody’s lives?"

On homophobia in hip-hop: "The real hip-hop, the real people don’t even care about that. They’ll love you and accept you no matter what because they know who they are. There are a lot of people trying to figure out who they are and what they’re gonna be. There’s a lot of confusion in that. Confusion causes a lack of identity. I’ve heard a couple of guys say foul things, and those guys are not around me anymore because when they say things like that, I’m looking at them like, What makes you so scared? You don’t know who you are? I guess it all boils down to them not being sure about themselves and what they wanna do, whoever that is. I won’t say any names. And I don’t dislike them or anything—it just makes me wonder about them period. ’Cause if you’re not sure about that, then you ain’t sure about a lotta things!"


substitute said...

Wow. She sounds like a really awesome person. I had no idea!

Via Champ said...

Via, found the article under "Blondie" blast from the past. I love Mary J's fashion sense and her stage performance. She is not always the best singer but she has a presence that I believe is appealing to a large audience. I'm sure gay people appreciate her speaking directly to her gay fan base and expressed acceptance of gay fans. Her comment that "people are just people," can be taken many ways, I hope it is seen as a positive expression and a universal acceptance.