Freddie Mercury did like fat-bottomed girls. It’s a weird thing to praise on what would have been the queer icon’s 72nd birthday, but Mercury’s bisexuality is often erased from history. As this month is Bisexuality Visibility Month, I’d like to remember Mercury not just for his contribution to music, but also for the full range of the singer’s sexuality.
Mercury never hid who he was. Long before exploring his same sex-attractions he had a flamboyant personality. And before any man, there was Mary Austin, who he would call the love of his life, even while in a long-term relationship with another man. They dated for seven years, and as you may have guessed by now, he wrote the Queen song, “Love of my Life” about her.
When he passed, he left the vast majority of his entire estate to her, as well as his ashes. Per his request, Austin hasn’t shared the location of where the singer’s scattered ashes lie.
As noted on the Queen Archives, Mercury’s obituary described the late singer as a “Self-confessed bi-sexual [sic].” Yet, there is still speculation as to whether Mercury was “just gay.” Some folks believe he was in denial about his true sexual orientation as a gay man or had some internalized homophobia. Given that I’ve heard these same critiques about my bisexual identity more times than I can count, I find it somewhat ridiculous. Mercury was open and embraced his love of multiple genders during a time where bisexuality was far more misunderstood.
His bandmates have made abundantly clear that the "Don’t Stop Me Now" singer’s sexuality could never be described in binary terms. "I don't think even he was fully cognizant in the beginning," guitarist Brian May once told the Daily Express. "You're talking to someone who shared rooms with Fred on the first couple of tours, so I knew him pretty well. I knew a lot of his girlfriends, and he certainly didn't have boyfriends in those days, that's for sure. I think there was a slight suspicion but it never occurred to me that he was gay."
Freddie Mercury was and continues to be a beacon of visibility for all queer people, both gay and bisexual. His ability to be unabashedly himself in a time where hatred for queers was at an all-time high is truly inspirational.
While I have no desire to take away the icon’s contributions to gay culture, I don’t think we’re honoring his legacy by stripping away parts of his queer identity. So on this day, 72 years after his birth in Stone Town, Tanzania, let’s honor Mercury by remembering the full spectrum of the singer's sexuality and allowing him to become the ultimate bisexual icon.