Madrigals are Inherently Sapphic.

They’re also inherently Gay. I don’t make the rules, guys, I just follow them.

When I was in high school, I was a choir kid. I was a balls-to-the-wall dedicated choir kid whose life revolved around choral composition and performance. I showed up to class early to set up chairs for everyone and skipped other classes to rehearse for our performances. I lived, breathed, ate, and slept choir.

My junior year we were rehearsing this song, “That Ever I Saw”, and our director told us that the composer of this arrangement had gifted it to his wife at their wedding. Cute, right? She then directed all of us to sing this love song as if it were to our future daughter, rather than risk having girls singing, “I have seen many that have beauty, Yet is there none like to my lady,” about other girls. I remember vividly being jerked out of the moment when she told us this. I had never really considered my sexuality beyond “I’m probably bi?” before but I felt immediately alienated by the mere suggestion that I should not have a woman in mind when performing this piece.

Of course, eight years later, I’m fully aware of the fact that I am a raging homosexual and that really changes how I understand past-Raevyn’s reactions to, well, everything.

 

gaycake
This is more or less how I came out to my mom but without the cake.

 

Obviously, that moment had an impact on me that resonated through the years. I idolized our director and hung on her every word– naturally, even the smallest rebuke stuck around my anxiety-ridden brain. It was one of the most hurtful comments I’ve ever received. I still feel a little nebulous guilt when I sing alone in my apartment about the lovely women I hope to fall in love with like some starstruck gallant knight. And you know what? That misplaced nebulous guilt can fuck right off.

I’ve made a decision. Madrigals and all songs performed at Renaissance-styled events are now inherently queer. A four-part women’s choir arrangement of Shakespeare’s “Come Again, Sweet Love”? GAY. The dude also wrote “Sigh No More, Ladies” which is all about how men are useless– what gayer sentiment is there? The longing-filled sea shanty, “Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still”? SUPER GAY. Change the pronouns to “he”, boys. Or even they. Why? Because it’s fucking gay. “Weep, O Mine Eyes?” THE GAYEST. Who writes “O when begin you/to swell so high that I may drown me in you?” without it being the most erotic gay content of the century? A composer and poet who’s thinking of their queer romance, that’s who.

What compositions do you know of that are Inherently Gay?

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