RIP Kurt Cobain: One of rock’s greatest LGBT allies
‘I am not gay, although I wish I were, just to piss off homophobes’
It is 19 years to the day that Kurt Cobain, best known as the singer of Nirvana, committed suicide.
Since his death, he influenced several music artists not only by his music, but his passion for gay rights.
Cobain, who shot himself when he was 27 and would have been 46 today, told people to not buy his music if they were homophobic.
In one of his journals, he said: ‘I am not gay, although I wish I were, just to piss off homophobes.’
In a 1993 interview with The Advocate, Cobain claimed he was ‘gay in spirit’ and ‘probably could be bisexual’. He also stated he used to spray paint ‘God is Gay’ on pickup trucks in his birthplace of Aberdeen, Washington.
He said: ‘I used to pretend I was gay just to fuck with people. I’ve had the reputation of being a homosexual ever since I was 14. It was really cool, because I found a couple of gay friends in Aberdeen-which is almost impossible. How I could ever come across a gay person in Aberdeen is amazing! But I had some really good friends that way. I got beat up a lot, of course, because of my association with them.
‘People just thought I was weird at first, just some fucked-up kid. But once I got the gay tag, it gave me the freedom to be able to be a freak and let people know that they should just stay away from me. Instead of having to explain to someone that they should just stay the fuck away from me-I’m gay, so I can’t even be touched. It made for quite a few scary experiences in alleys walking home from school, though…
‘See I’ve always wanted male friends that I could be real intimate with and talk about important things with and be as affectionate with that person as I would be with a girl. Throughout my life, I’ve always been really close with girls and made friends with girls. And I’ve always been a really sickly, feminine person anyhow, so I thought I was gay for a while because I didn’t find any of the girls in my high school attractive at all. They had really awful haircuts and fucked-up attitudes.
‘So I thought I would try to be gay for a while, but I’m just more sexually attracted to women. But I’m really glad that I found a few gay friends, because it totally saved me from becoming a monk or something.
‘I mean, I’m definitely gay in spirit, and I probably could be bisexual. But I’m married, and I’m more attracted to Courtney [Love] than I ever have been toward a person, so there’s no point in trying to sow my oats at this point. [Laughs] If I wouldn’t have found Courtney, I probably would have carried on with a bisexual life-style. But I just find her totally attractive in all ways.’
Check out a few of Nirvana’s most loved tracks All Apologies, where Cobain tells us ‘Everyone is gay’, as well as ‘Come As You Are’ and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, here: