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The recently deceased, openly gay, British pop star George Michael once referred to himself as a “dirty filthy fucker“ who loved cruising public toilets.
He loved cruising them so much that it caused him to get outed in 1998 after a police officer caught him masturbating in a public Beverly Hills bathroom. He famously never apologized, adding, “I don’t feel any shame whatsoever.” He later said, “It’s a much nicer place to get some quick and honest sex than standing in a bar. The handful of times a year it’s bloody warm enough, I’ll do it.”
Not only did he not apologize, that same year, he released a music video for a song called “Outside” which featured couples getting it on in locker rooms, restrooms and rooftops. The video even had Michael dressed as a cop, leading a dance party in a public toilet, complete with disco balls and mirrored urinals.
So, considering his love of public sex, it makes sense that Queer Tours of London, a British LGBTQI history organization, will commemorate Michael’s recent burial with a “sexual freedom party” this Saturday, April 8 at Hampstead Heath, a park Michael once called “the best cruising ground in London.”
Queer Tours is also holding the event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the passage of Britain’s Sexual Offences Act of 1967 which decriminalized sexual encounters between men in England and Wales — Scotland and Northern Ireland didn’t pass similar laws until 1980 and 1982 respectively, and the U.S. didn’t decriminalize same-sex encounters until 2003.
Queer Tours of London said:
a confident and successful individual as George Michael still found it impossible to be open about his sexuality in the late 1990’s. His sexuality was used to both criminalise and humiliate him; sadly despite his and many others who have bravely fought back this still goes on for so many of us. So we want to use this celebration of one of the LGBTQIA+ community’s finest to continue to challenge the barriers that still remain.
Michael’s unapologetic sexuality has followed him into death. A mural in Sydney, Australia depicted him as a poppers-sniffing saint and an auction of his wildly colorful portrait by Damien Hirst went towards HIV and AIDS charities.