This year has been a really rough year for celebrities dying and rubbish political decisions. With George Michael’s passing on Christmas Day it added another tragic layer to all the losses of greats this year.

I found this image on tumblr with a comment about these men teaching the world that you can do masculinity any damn way you want. The gay world is still full to overflowing with discrimination of effeminate or camp men, idolising the traditional views of masculinity. To me that traditional view of masculinity feels outdated. Why can men only be muscular, gruff, hairy and emotionally stunted? To the gay men that are total tops because of some warped view of masculinity, does that mean you think the men you fuck are less masculine or even just “less than” you?

David Bowie was fairly well renowned to be bisexual and played enthusiastically with an androgynous image especially in his early years. We really did lose a pioneer earlier this year with his passing. Prince was a legendary ladies man, bedding all sorts of gorgeous women but his image was perhaps one of the most camp out of the three. How does that sit with everyone’s notion of masculinity? George Michael looked way more camp in his closeted days at the beginning of his career. In later years he was all about sharp suits and sophistication.

There are no rules to masculinity and I would say that I see being truly masculine means being yourself without regard to what is expected of you and your image. I’ve done drag and I’ve rowed surfboats. Two activities about as far apart on the scale of traditional masculinity as it’s possible to be but they are both very comfortable aspects of me.

Thank you to these legendary men for being brave enough to do things your own way.