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Madonna Talks… “I’m the new old Madonna.”

Over the course of her grandiose career, Madonna has been connected to a wide community of gay men. She has been an artistic collaborator, a political ally, and employer, a friend, and a sister. She was both an early and vocal warrior in the fight against HIV and AIDS and was a trailblazer in creating accessible gay imagery.

Now, at 56, Madonna is entering her fourth decade of entertainment with the Rebel Heart album. The mega-star sat with OUT’s Christopher Glazek to discuss gay rights, the struggle for women, and realizing for the first time her youngest brother was gay.

Select quotes from OUT’s Madonna interview include:

Madonna on Joan of Arc:
“I can relate—sometimes I’m getting burned at the stake metaphorically.”
On gay rights being ahead of women’s rights:
“Gay rights are way more advanced than women’s rights. People are a lot more open-minded to the gay community than they are to women, period… It’s moved along for the gay community, for the African-American community, but women are still just trading on their ass. To me, the last great frontier is women…. Women are still the most marginalized group. You’re still categorized—you’re still either a virgin or a whore. If you’re a certain age, you’re not allowed to express your sexuality, be single, or date younger men.”

On her realizing her brother, Christopher, was gay:
“It wasn’t something I could articulate; it was just something instinctual that I noticed,” she recalls. “My brother always had a lot of girls around him that seemed like they were madly in love with him, but he didn’t seem like he was madly in love with them. And then I saw him interacting with my ballet teacher [who was gay], and in my mind I unconsciously went, Oh, I get it. I didn’t ask my brother if he was gay. I didn’t even know there was a phrase ‘gay.’ I just understood that they were different. There was some silent, unspoken understanding that they had a connection.”

On wishing that she were gay:
“I didn’t feel like straight men understood me. They just wanted to have sex with me. Gay men understood me, and I felt comfortable around them. There was only that one problem, which is that they didn’t want to have sex with me! So…conundrum! I was like, ‘How am I ever going to get a date? Maybe if I cut my hair and I lose a lot of weight, someone will mistake me for a guy and ask me out.”

To read more go to Madonna: The OUT Interview

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