Remember when this was supposed to be the big gay anthem?
I am what I am
I am my own special creation.
So come take a look,
Give me the hook or the ovation.
It's my world that I want to take a little pride in,
My world, and it's not a place I have to hide in.
Life's not worth a damn,
'Til you can say, "Hey world, I am what I am."
No. I dont. I never heard about this before. Was the tune as corny as the lyrics?
I honestly thought that was going to be some sort of Alaskan tourist board commercial using the song as its theme, R2. I was looking forward to seeing Sarah Palin lipsynching those lyrics.
Chicago's first gay radio station (sharing part-time bandwidth with Jesus on the AM dial) used this as its opening theme.
It was 1995. Guys weren't dropping dead from AIDS. I was looking for really good white linen dress pants. I bought my first Donna Karan crepe sports jacket. My shoes were still cheap.
Terrible song- right up there with New York New York.
r6, what do you dislike about New York New York?
Godawful song. I remember a review of La Cage when it first opened in the Advocate (I think). Basically, the review said that just because the words boobs and jocks doesn't make it a good gay show; just more Jerry Herman drive.
Here's George Hearn's infamous performance of it at the Tonys in 1984--he refused to wear his character's drag (because he said his family would be watching), thus negating the whole point of the song.
I never could stand his bellowing voice.
There was a pretty good dance version I remember... forget what woman sung it, but it was in the 90s sometime I think (or maybe 80s, but hit again in the 90s)
I love you, R5.
That performance of Hearn's is ear splitting. Sounds like a farm animal braying! LOL.
Love it or hate it, "I Am What I Am" is a Broadway standard now. And back in the 80's, when people were still dying from AIDS and the epidemic was in full swing, this was a sort of anthem. Yeah, it's schmaltzy Herman, but it is an emotional song if done properly.
Look under our glitz, muscles, and tits,
Proving we are what we are!
It's corny in the abstract, but if you see a good version of the show, it's quite moving.
Unlike the Birdcage where Nathan Lane cries and crumbles after being rejected by his partner and the son he raises, Georges delivers a defiant show of anger for being pushed aside for being different and is determined to crash the party.
Yes it's dated if you think being gay makes you "glittery" and "fabulous"
But the real kick in the stomach comes when Georges tells the ungrateful
son off for abusing the person who was a parent to him in "look over there"
"How often is someone concerned
With the tiniest thread of your life?
Concerned with whatever you feel
And whatever you touch?
Look over there.
Look over there.
Somebody cares that much.
How often does somebody sense
That you need them without being told?
When you have a hurt in your heart
You're too proud to disclose?
Look over there.
Look over there.
Somebody always knows.
When your world spins too fast,
And your bubble has burst,
Someone puts himself last,
So that you can come first.
So count all the loves who will love you
From now 'til the end of your life,
And when you have added the loves
Who have loved you before,
Look over there.
Look over there."
When gay parenting is still being bashed in the Supreme Court, it's still ahead of its time
I remember seeing Pia Zadora sing it on some awards broadcast or maybe a variety show. If I remember correctly, she was at the end of the show when people's interest would have been trailing.
It's a shame that Gloria Gaynor is more associated with the song now, considering that she's persona non grata in the gay community these days.
The unacknowledged irony being that if you're gussied up in drag, you're actually NOT what you "am."
John Barrowman is not a special favorite of mine the way he is with a lot of dataloungers, but he's a hundred times better in that clip at r19 than George Hearn was.
Just needs to have updated lyrics ...
I am what I am,
And what I am is a guy who sucks dick ...
I prefer gym rats, but once in a while,
I might fuck a twink ...
That tired old "I Will Survive" is the one I hate.
Or that awful tuneless would be "anthem" "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", what an insult to Motown and Holland/Dozier/Holland having those second rate songs in a musical inspired by them.
IAWIA isn't very good, but for the time the sentiment was right and the lyric is uplifting enough.. just too cabaret. If you want to up the gayness further listen to Bassey's version. And speaking of Shirl, her "This Is My Life" is a better gay anthem along those lines.
Gloria was obviously best for Never Can Say Goodbye which is up there with Thelma's Don't Leave Me This Way in the disco covers stakes.
And now racist butter queen and heart disease/diabetes poster mama Paula Deen spews her own illiterate Popeye version:
"I is what I is." Yeah, lady. We got that.
Is Gloria Gaynor a homophobe?
Breeders must be totally confused about gay life. Is the trajectory: gay -> tranvestite -> sex-reassignment surgery -> happily married?
"Oh my God. I'm back. I'm home. All the time, it was... We finally really did it ... You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"
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