Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 14, No. 30, Ed. 1 Friday, November 21, 1997 Page: 38 of 80
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Even cowboys get campy —
Erasure’s gay half, Andy Bell, speaks of cowboys,
activism and living the gay life as an ‘out’ performer
Erasure’s Andy Bell (foreground, with Vince Clarke in back-
ground) says of his status as an openly gay performer, “I’m
not a very good liar. So when people asked, I told them. I
never thought twice about it.”
By Jeffrey L. Newman
As one half of the pop-synth duo
Erasure, Andy Bell has camped,
vamped and dragged through the halls
of pop music for 12 years, refusing to
deny his sexual identity out of fear of a
commercial backlash. With the excep-
tion of Jimmy Somerville and a handful
of lesser-known pop singers (pre-k.d.
lang and Melissa Etheridge), the ever-
flamboyant Bell has played the role of
gay pop star quite well, and nearly solo.
"I couldn't do anything else really,"
says the 33-year old singer. "I never felt
comfortable trying to pretend that I
wasn't something that I was. I've never
believed in covering myself with any-
thing. It was never even a considera-
tion, really. I'm not a very good liar. So
when people asked, which they did
right from the beginning, I told them.
They'd ask if I had a girlfriend and I'd
say, 'No, a boyfriend.' I never thought
twice about it."
"Sometimes it gets a bit boring to
talk about it," he adds. "But I'm grate-
ful to have the freedom and success to
do it. I am gay and I'm proud of that. I
think it gives our group a credibility."
Bell and music partner Vince Clarke,
who is not gay, are back on the music
scene after a two-year absence with
NOVEMBER 21, 1997 DALLAS VOICE
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 14, No. 30, Ed. 1 Friday, November 21, 1997, newspaper, November 21, 1997; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth616180/m1/38/?q=RIO%20VISTA: accessed October 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.