Tonight I was part of a panel titled 'Queer Performers' at the Central School of Speech and Drama with Dusty Limits and David Hoyle which was fabulous and fascinating to be part of (the three of us could have gone on all night, we'd barely scratched the surface.)
Key inspirations into my alt queer artistic education are Divine, Leigh Bowery and the artist now known as David Hoyle.
I first discovered David back in 1999 when his first TV show 'Divine David Presents' aired on Channel 4. I'd recently left the Army, knew nothing of the Avant-garde and about to study my degree in Photography in Blackpool (ironically where David is from). Suffice to say, David blew my head apart and made me question gender, sexuality, life, art and the so-called norms of how we are expected to behave in a so-called civilised society.
There are times when I've not agreed with some of his rants and tirades but so very grateful that he gets on his soap box and does. There are plenty of politicised ranters (where I don't hear the actual message, all I receive is anger) yet he educates through entertainment. He makes me question my own morals and beliefs which I think is important as an artist, as a human. Where the gay scene has become homogenised by pink fluffy cowboy hats and funky house, David is a beacon of intelligence, humour and common sense.
The queues and popularity of his solo shows prove that people want to listen and are interested beyond getting high, the body beautiful and the latest Kylie single (which is about as emotive and pop worthy as the crumbs down the side of my cooker). Collectively we need a voice, someone in a position to reach as many as possible and represent those who don't fit the boxes that we're supposed to.
Get David Hoyle back on TV, where he can reach and inspire the artists, queers and free thinkers of the future.
Right then, who wants to come and queue outside the RVT with me to see him shatter conceptions of what it is to entertain?
[Photo Kristen Elsby]