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lgbt-history-archive: Freddie Mercury (September 5, 1946 – November 24, 1991), 1978. Photo © Neal Preston. Freddie Mercury, who would turn seventy today, was born Farrokh Bulsura in Zanzibar, though he and his family fled to Britain during the Zanzibar Revolution of 1964. From a young age, Mercury (who began calling himself “Freddie” at boarding school) displayed the characteristics that came to define his public persona: intense kindness and shyness mixed with an uncanny musical ability that, when engaged, would bring out an enormous personality. By 1971, Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon had formed the band that Mercury dubbed “Queen”; around the same time, he changed his last name to Mercury. For the next twenty years, Queen blended prog, glam, and arena rock, disco, opera, gospel, heavy metal, and countless other styles to create an extraordinary sound and to produce hits as varied as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Somebody to Love,” “I Want to Break Free,” “These Are The Days Of Our Lives,” and the ubiquitous “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions.” And, of Queen’s legendary live performances, one writer summarized as follows: “Freddie Mercury on stage…is the summit of rock n’ roll.” As with many queer pioneers, debates persist over how Mercury “defined” his sexuality and whether he was “sufficiently open.” In 1992, one writer noted that Mercury “was a ‘scene-queen,’ not afraid to publicly express his [sexuality], but unwilling to analyze or justify his ‘lifestyle’…It was as if Freddie Mercury was saying to the world, ‘I am what I am. So what?’ And that in itself for some was a statement.” Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS in the spring of 1987, a fact he did not publicly confirm until the day before his death. Freddie Mercury died on November 24, 1991; he was forty-five. Mercury was survived by his partner, Jim Hutton, and his longtime companion, Mary Austin. #lgbthistory #lgbtherstory #lgbttheirstory #lgbtpride #QueerHistoryMatters #HavePrideInHistory #FreddieMercury: lgbt-history-archive: Freddie Mercury (September 5, 1946 – November 24, 1991), 1978. Photo © Neal Preston. Freddie Mercury, who would turn seventy today, was born Farrokh Bulsura in Zanzibar, though he and his family fled to Britain during the Zanzibar Revolution of 1964. From a young age, Mercury (who began calling himself “Freddie” at boarding school) displayed the characteristics that came to define his public persona: intense kindness and shyness mixed with an uncanny musical ability that, when engaged, would bring out an enormous personality. By 1971, Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon had formed the band that Mercury dubbed “Queen”; around the same time, he changed his last name to Mercury. For the next twenty years, Queen blended prog, glam, and arena rock, disco, opera, gospel, heavy metal, and countless other styles to create an extraordinary sound and to produce hits as varied as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Somebody to Love,” “I Want to Break Free,” “These Are The Days Of Our Lives,” and the ubiquitous “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions.” And, of Queen’s legendary live performances, one writer summarized as follows: “Freddie Mercury on stage…is the summit of rock n’ roll.” As with many queer pioneers, debates persist over how Mercury “defined” his sexuality and whether he was “sufficiently open.” In 1992, one writer noted that Mercury “was a ‘scene-queen,’ not afraid to publicly express his [sexuality], but unwilling to analyze or justify his ‘lifestyle’…It was as if Freddie Mercury was saying to the world, ‘I am what I am. So what?’ And that in itself for some was a statement.” Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS in the spring of 1987, a fact he did not publicly confirm until the day before his death. Freddie Mercury died on November 24, 1991; he was forty-five. Mercury was survived by his partner, Jim Hutton, and his longtime companion, Mary Austin. #lgbthistory #lgbtherstory #lgbttheirstory #lgbtpride #QueerHistoryMatters #HavePrideInHistory #FreddieMercury
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