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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 290 > SHEARS MY MAN

SHEARS MY MAN

SCISSOR SISTERS FRONTMAN JAKE SHEARS REDEFINED THE MODERN QUEER POP STAR FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, HE TELLS ATTITUDE ABOUT BEING THE WEIRD KID AT SCHOOL, HIS CONTROVERSIAL CREATIVE CHOICES AS A GAY ARTIST, AND WHAT HE THINKS IT MEANS TO BE MAN

JAKE SHEARS

JOSEPH KOCHARIAN

Jake wears polo shirt by Lacoste, joggers by Neil Barrett

When Jake Shears formed Scissor Sisters with Scott “Babydaddy” Hoffman in 2001 the music landscape looked very different. Being gay in pop usually meant being in the closet, unless the tabloids were looking to out you.

Will Young was a year away from winning Pop Idol, it would be 11 years until Adam Lambert became the first out gay man to debut at Number One on the US Billboard album chart, and it was 13 years before the international success of Sam Smith.

To be unabashedly queer in the music business, as the Scissors were (to use Jake’s affectionate abbreviation), was almost unheard of. But Jake and co sashayed on to the music scene with flamboyance, camp and colour, wrapped in sequins and spandex, all set to a soundtrack of glam rock, nu disco and electroclash.

Although originally comprising two straight and two gay members, the Scissors were still labelled a gay band. And they used this to confront prejudice around sexuality, something which was to become their hallmark.

As the band’s frontman, Jake became the new prince of pop and a champion for an LGBT+ community that was beginning to reclaim its queerness.

Now 39, he was unapologetically honest about his identity from the start, flitting from camp and showy in one video, to embracing the gay clone aesthetic in the next, most notably with the band’s underrated third album Night Work. In short, he helped redefine the modern gay male pop star for the 21st century. He also toyed with perceptions of his masculinity as a gay man and challenged the band’s fans to rethink their ideas about gender. As he prepares for the release of his debut solo album, we couldn’t think of a better star to grace the cover of Attitude’s masculinity issue.

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About Attitude

This month, the Masculinity issue! On the cover, Jake Shears is back! Plus, Shamir on androgyny, comedian Stephen Bailey, gay footie referee Ryan Atkin, bottom shaming, and LOADS MORE on what masc means to gay men.
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