Monthly gay glossy Out got a lot of attention when they featured ever-ambiguous singer Mika on their cover last year. The British-bred Lebanese-born stunner said that he refused to categorize his sexuality. So, what’s he have to say now? More of the same, of course…
Q: Let’s talk about the reaction to your Out cover story.
A: So how did it go?
Q: On our side? There were a lot of people who were just thrilled to see it and hear what you had to say. And we also got a lot of flak, people who said, “How could a magazine called Out put someone on the cover who seems ashamed to admit he’s gay?”
A: That’s nonsense.
Q: What’s your reaction to that?
A: Yeah, well, I’m sure you heard that a lot. But I always polarize opinions, whether it’s my private life or the music that I make, and I’ve had to deal with that over the past year. I think that’s been one of the biggest learning curves. I’ve gotten a huge amount of success, but if you had any idea of the amount of flak that I get for the kind of songs that I write or the way that I talk about or refuse to talk about almost any private aspect of my life — you’d be pretty astonished. And one of the biggest challenges that I’ve had is just saying to myself, You know what? Just stay the same. Stay the way that you are. I can understand that you got polarized opinions. Of course you were going to. That doesn’t surprise me.
Q: Do you think there’s a way to describe your sexuality without using labels?
A: Of course there’s ways of discussing sexuality without using labels. I think that if you want to discuss sexuality or just kind of sexual things to begin with, I think there definitely is. I think that’s far more interesting than talking about whether someone is agreeing to or refusing to use labels. I think that’s what your article — and definitely your [cover] headline [Mika: Gay/Post-Gay/Not Gay?] was getting at.
Q: Is that a conversation you want to have more of? Is it that you won’t talk about anything in your life regarding sex, or that you don’t want to talk about it in the terms that people have been asking you to?
A: I’ll talk about my opinions, and I’ll talk about my music, and I’ll write about my opinions or about my personal life stories in my music. I will not talk about labels, and I will not talk about over-categorizing things, because labels are the one thing that I’ve never agreed with — simply because I just don’t fit into them in my own personal life.
Girl must be freaky!
M Shane Walsh
Lingering evasion: he didn’t want to lie anyway. Does this justify waterboarding?
Why does Mika exist? Why is anyone helping Mika exist?
He’s such a dis-Grace Kelly to the gay community. That whole “label” and “category” argument is tiresome and juvenile. He comes across as incredibly insecure. Clear him.
Mika’s sexuality is his own business. Why must he categorize himself to please anyone? Besides, it’s not like he’s out promoting himself as some rabid heterosexual. His music is all we need to know about him.
Btw, I think he’s fucking hot!
here! here! Afrolito, well put.
I don’t tell people I’m gay. if it comes up, it comes up. it’s not an issue I want to define my personality. I think Mika’s taken that to a whole new level and how dare any of you look down on him for wanting to keep something so personal, just that.
I find him so incredibly boring.
Don’t like labels? Yawn. This is nothing new. This has been used since the early days. It’s so boring.
His “non-label” self has seen dismal sales in the US not because of his refusing to discuss his sexuality, but because his music has been lackluster. He may be a “critical darling” amongst the tragically hip, but it hasn’t translated into sales.
His NOT discussing his sexuality is the only thing that keeps him in the US press.
Mika is doing just fine in Europe, where his album has already sold 5 million. You’re so full of shit WOW. The only reason you find him “incredibly boring”, is because he’s not following your pre fab script. Get over it.
Lackluster” music has nothing to do with his lack of visibility and support in the U.S. The homophobia of radio programmers is the culprit. His music is simply too gay for these tools.
Btw, i’ll be seeing him at his SOLD OUT show here in New York on feb 2nd.
I’m all for Mika refusing the labels. It’s not as though he’s denying anything about his sexuality, or even suggesting that he’s heterosexual.
He’s the new Clay Aitken. So gay yet totally not. Really, NOT gay? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.
My partner and I saw Mika concert in Barcelona, several months ago. His music is so honest, so refreshing and he is really stunningly handsome and a sexy. Speaking of honest music, his song “In Any Other World” is so totally gay; might it tell the story of his life? I think for Mika, his sexuality only defines a small part of who he is – and if we are honest, it is the same for all of us. Sure, I would like him to come out, but let him do it in his own time!
hells kitchen guy
Todd, I so totally agree with you 🙂
The wench probably lead *really* freaky sex life if is does not fall withinin a ‘category’ or ‘label’ 🙂
Say what you will about his coyness about sexual orientation, the man puts on a fantastic live show.
I saw him in Boston last summer. Look up “wonderful” in the dictionary*–that’s Mika live.
*for the lazy: “inspiring delight, pleasure, or admiration; extremely good; marvelous”
I’m tired of people dissing Mika. If you don’t like him, don’t read about him and don’t listen to his music. I don’t take time to post comments about how annoying I find “Celebrity X” – I have a life.
If he said he was straight, you’d say he was lying. If he said he was bi then happened to be in a relationship with a girl later, you’d say he was lying. If he said he was gay, you’d criticize him for not being activist enough. Nothing any of these people could do can please you.
I admire Mika for the way he handles the label issue and presents concepts of sexuality in his music. If I were to describe my own sexuality with labels, it wouldn’t be just one word. If forced to, I use “bi” because that’s what most people would understand, but it’s not an all-encompassing word. I’m more of a “panamorous, polyamorous, asexual, kinsey 5.5, genderf*ck cisman with certain fetishes.”
Is a 40 year old out gay man going to identify with him? Maybe not. But there are plenty, like me, who do.
And as for whether he’s successful – try judging in five or ten years. But so far he’s shown a lot more promise than many other singers of comparable age.
Mika is pretty… but his voice makes me want to rip off my eyelids with a spoon.
David Hasselhoff is big in Europe too – doesn’t mean that there’s anything interesting happening there.
how the fuck ceres
Shia – OK, I’m an archaic 40 somethin’ – let the boy be! ‘member when U were a kid and all the @holes messed w/ U?
Who cares, he has made an infectious album that I love and my 9 yo daughter loves…that’s rather Lennon of him and kudos!
Ya can’t please all of the people all of the time.
I think that Mr. Penniman has a right to keep his sexuality to himself. We all have the right to keep our own secrets, do we not?
I’m confident that he’ll let us into his personal life someday, and I’ll be waiting. 🙂
I love his music, I love his looks, if he’s gay I wish he would llove me….
He should be allowed the “luxury” of being who he is, why do everybody have to pester him about being gay or not ? Keep at it and choose the time and place yourself if there should be anything to say on the matter.
I still agree that if he wants to the play the label free card that’s fine, but wtf is he doing on the cover of Out then? to some degree I can’t help but think it’s just a ploy to get in on the Pink dollar. we all know we spend way more money supporting gay artists and alike than most straight ones, by playing this label free card he gets all the mainstream conservative dollars (cause he isn’t overtly offending their sensibilities, he understands don’t ask, don’t tell) and the ongoing support from the gay community. very few get both.
All this bullox about being label free and free love all that crap, seems to say (by people who are supposed to be for those who are same sex attracted) that we are all bi and have just made a choice to slot ourselves into the ‘gay culture’ cause it’s easier or some bullox. as a 21 y.o GAY guy, I personally find that hugely offencive. Although I am no raging queen or hitting up the scene every night (or even every month), I have never had any interest in women, none, and enjoy the fact that i can go somewhere and know that the guy i’m eyeing off likes guys too, not might like guys when his girlfriend is giving him the cold shoulder or some shite… all this ideologic hegemony bullox pisses me off cause all it does is give power to the ‘it’s a choice’ or mental disorder crowd, and like they need any more freakin ammo…
just cause some of you are indecisive nymphos doesn’t mean that there aren’t some of us who genuinely hold the gay community as having purpose and right, as we have almost nothing in common with the pussy loving dickheads who are the majority on this earth.
These people who don’t want to be accountable to a label are just selfish individuals who want to take all the liberties and rights they can get to do whatever they want, and not only not acknowledge the effort that went in to allowing (in this case) gay men to have the liberties they have (or men who like having sex with men for the non labelers), but doing absolutely nothing to ‘pay it forward’ if you will, or standup and say, “I enjoy these liberties, i’m a human being, so i, like the rest of this community am making a statement that the bigotry that is still being served to us is undeserved.”
he has a right to be whatever he wants to be, but we as a community should not be enabling that kind of individualism. it’s what the conservative right want, divide and conquere.
i cant believe how self centred and egotistical americans are… the measure of someone’s success isnt how well they did in the US, its how well they did world wide and mika has millions of fans all through the UK, Europe,Australia, Asia, The Middle East and South America.
his sexuality is none of your business, imagine if you went to work every single day and had people asking you a million times about your sexuality. its not like an average person where you come out and thats that, mika will be asked questions for the rest of his life and if he does come out will be expected to be a gay icon. who cares whether he likes girls or boys or both. he’s wonderful.
Tom, you are an idiot.
I love gay people!
Not all Americans are egotistical, first off. Just like any other country, there are egomaniacs and there is humility. We’re only judged on the entertainment market because OURS IS BIGGEST! Or possibly India…but still – MIKA is no doubt a great artist and whether he likes boys or girls has nothing to do with it.
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