in rainbows

Just How Big of a Gay Artist Will Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij Become?

Now that Rostam Batmanglij, of the mega-hyped band Vampire Weekend, is on the record as a homo, is he going to be a big swinging dick for LGBT rights? Or just drop subtle hints for equality?

On Saturday, Batmanglij and his three fellow Vampires performed on Saturday Night Live to promote their new record Contra, which is pretty good, but suffers a bit from sophomore slump. It was their second time on the show; in 2008, viewers were treated to the addictive “A-Punk.” Except this time Batmanglij, who plays keyboard and guitar, sometimes provides secondary vocals, and is the band’s producer and songwriter, was sporting something notable: a rainbow-colored guitar strap.

We’ve gone through photos and videos of Vampire Weekend performing previously, from festivals to late night shows to music videos, and couldn’t find Batmanglij make any other obvious links to his sexuality. But perhaps that’s all about to change. “Diplomat’s Son” (below) is a “a six-minute dancehall song about a gay relationship,” says Batmanglij, who also insists the song “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” from his other band Discovery’s 2009 album, is a gay anthem that just never exploded.

Or maybe: A rainbow guitar strap is just a rainbow guitar strap.

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  • Patrick

    Just the fact he came out, remember he is Iranian-American, they are not to pro-gay, is enough for me. I’m sure he will continue at what ever pace he and the band decide on.

  • jason

    I hope he avoids the “gay artist” label like the plague. It’s a surefire way of marginalizing yourself. If you look at life through the “gay” lens, you’ll end up looking through a very narrow one indeed.

  • fredo777

    I’m already a fan of VW + enjoyed their second performance on SNL (Giving Up The Gun) a ton.

  • fredo777

    @jason: Agreed. I’d much rather be looked at as an artist who happens to be gay than “the gay artist so-and-so…” everytime the media mentioned me.

  • fredo777

    * every time

  • sal(the original)

    i always listened to diplomats son and the cousins song is cool too

  • romeo

    They were the only bright spot on SNL the other night. I think that show’s had it. Rostam’s cute, btw.

  • derrr

    awww i loved VW&Discovery a ton, and love them sooo much more now :) what a cutie.

  • bobo

    I think he is awesome, and i think it is cool that he chose to identify as a gay artist. maybe that will inspire other queer kids to join a band, or start their own bands.

  • FrancoisTrueFaux

    BTW, Diplomat’s Son is the best song on the album anyway. Thought so before and after I found out he was gay; doesn’t matter. Cousins is still second hat. . .

  • fredo777

    I can’t believe Queerty didn’t post the video for “Giving Up The Gun” with this story. It featured a very adorable Jake Gyllenhaal + Joe Jonas (both in tennis shorts).

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