And yes, the first verse of the song DOES ask “where have all the gay guys gone?” Read the link, it makes a very good point.
In the second verse, he names quite a few people that I assume are role models for him. Such as:
- Rufus Wainwright (I’ll admit, I assumed on this one since I couldn’t find anyone else by that name) – American-Canadian singer, songwriter and composer.
- W.H. Auden – Anglo-American poet
- James Dean – American actor
- Ralph Waldo Emerson – American essayist, lecturer and poet
- David Bowie – English singer, songwriter, actor and record producer.
- Wilfred Owen – English poet and soldier in WWI
- Alfred Kinsey – American biologist, professor of entomology and zoology, and foundational researcher into human sexuality.
- Walt Whitman – American poet, essayist and journalist. Considered the “father of free verse.”
- Arthur Rimbaud -French poet and an early writer of the surrealist movement.
- Andy Warhol – American artist, founder of the pop movement.
- Patience Collier (I have to assume he means this one too) – British actress
- Cole Porter (another assumption) – American songwriter and composer.
- Jean Cocteau – French writer, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker.
I sincerely hope you watched the whole video. Given the names he fills the second verse with, the dancing throughout the entire song really offers an idea of what he is REALLY wanting to say. (NOTE: This is my interpretation, yours may differ).
He states that we ALL live in the gutter. In an earlier era, the symbolism may have been more that we all live in the mud and muck. But, SOME of us look up at the stars, and do our best to reach for them. These are his stars, the standards by which he rates his own striving for his goals. It is by raising our eyes to see the stars that we make any real impact on the world.
The second part to me points out that no matter how alone you may feel, how far ahead of “the pack” that you think you are, you are ALWAYS supported and helped by others. It may never be something you personally notice, but every human in our modern world has a support system, whether or not we choose to use them or whether or not we ALLOW them to help us.
People like your childhood teachers, your family (blood family or chosen family), friends, mentors, therapists, hell even the guy down the street who smiles and waves any time you pass him (because that smile may change your whole outlook on the day).