Boy George Back!
It's no secret that I am a Boy George fan.
He really is one of my greatest heroes, along with Oscar Wilde, and one of the people I'd most like to meet before I die. He has meant so much to me over the years, and it's impossible to imagine how much strength and hope he gave me as a young gay boy growing up in tough circumstances in rural North Queensland in the 1980s. His beauty, style and amazing spirit were constantly inspiring, and remain so.
I think that George is consistently undervalued for the effect he had on our culture. I don't think that any of the great changes surrounding the acceptance of gay people in Western society could have happened without George's in-your-face presence throughout the 80s. He is an absolute icon.
One of the most fascinating things about George is the intensity and seriousness of his spiritual interests. George has been incorporating elements of Hinduism into his life and art since the late 80s, and has been for many years a kind of satellite supporter of the Hare Krishna movement. What stops his more complete involvement and advocacy of that group is their infamous and until now intransigent homophobia. Though I believe that is beginning to change. George has been a strict vegan for 20 years now, and some years ago published his own vegan cookbook which I use constantly.
So it's no surprise that in the video clip for his wonderful new song Amazing Grace, George has incorporated much Hindu imagery, and the whole thing is simply wonderful. The song itself, as its title might suggest, also speaks to George's spiritual side, and I find it incredibly uplifiting.
Welcome back, George - you continue to be creative, outrageous and inspiring. Amazing Grace indeed.