Back in bloom: how queer male pop reclaimed its star status

The 80s put the gay man front and centre of pop. Then came the Aids crisis – and three decades of demonisation and displacement. As Troye Sivan leads a new wave of gay stars, has true change finally arrived?

Troye Sivan is the hottest gay pop star in the world. For his legion millennial and Generation Z fans, he’s among the first artists of their lifetime to frankly explore gay sex in pop – notably on his recent second album, Bloom – and they’ve hailed him as a trailblazer. But Sivan is part of a complex legacy of male queerness in music, one that exploded during disco and commanded the mainstream centre in the 80s only to wither in the 90s. Why has it taken two decades for the gay male experience to reclaim its place in pop?

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