Boy Bands, have been a popular phenomenon in the music industry for decades. They are known for their catchy pop-style of music with dance moves, stylized costumes, and extravagant stage settings in their live performances and videos.
Boy bands are said to have emerged from the earlier ‘a cappella’ barbershop quartets of the late twentieth century.
The mainstream popularity of boy bands in western music almost ensures that one or two members of each group identifies as gay, bisexual or queer. Having those individuals publicly identify as such can be challenging – the target audience tends to be teen-age girls.
Also, most boy bands are created through the efforts of a professional producer or manager, and this individual often counsels members of the band on how to behave and present themselves publicly, to maximize popularity and profitability. Most out gay boy band members talk about their early career days and having dual personas – the public heterosexual teen male, and the private gay individual – creating an authenticity paradox.
There have been sporadic attempts to create successful all-gay boy bands to cater to the LGBTQ dance club crowd. None of these efforts resulted in any success.
Nevertheless, there is a group of notable boy band members, such as Mark Feehily, above, who publicly identify as gay, bisexual or queer. These individuals hail from Great Britain (e.g.George Shelly of Union J), New Zealand, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United States, Scotland, and Puerto Rico.