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BM-68 - Source:,_loved_boy 

Via Twitter, Marthijn Uittenbogaard drew my attention to the experiences of the famous gay American singer-songwriter Sylvester James Jr., commonly known as Sylvester.

On his website, Uittenbogaard mentions the following quote about Sylvester by Eric Tazelaar:

"How many know that Sylvester started having relationships with men when he was eight? And with no regret or recrimination, either.
He would go on to produce a number one disco hit which became the theme music to gay liberation. I used to see him in the Castro all the time and we once talked about NAMBLA when he saw me at the Gay Pride Parade wearing my 'boylove' t-shirt. That was probably about 1986. He was openly supportive as were many gay men, still, at that time. Sadly, he died of AIDS (or was it HIV by then?) in 1989. A real bummer year for us both."

(Taken from 'Sylvester, loved boy' by Eric Tazelaar;; BoyChat; December 14th 2019).

Uittenbogaard also adds a quote from a Wikipedia-article Sylvester (singer)

"The young Sylvester was often accused of effeminacy and recognized his own homosexuality from an early age. At the age of eight, he engaged in sexual activity with a far older man at the church - at the time rumored to be the church organist - although he would always maintain that this was consensual and not an example of sexual molestation. Sylvester was taken to a doctor after receiving injuries during anal sex with this man. It was this doctor who informed Letha that her son was gay, something that she could not accept, viewing homosexual activity as a perversion and a sin."

I find it rather irresponsible of his adult partner that he did not prevent these physical injuries in Sylvester, but in itself this does not imply that the contact must have been involuntary, as long as we assume the injuries were accidental.

Relevant sources used in the Wikipedia-article:

  • Gamson, Joshua (2005). The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, the Music, the 70s in San Francisco.
  • Davis, Sharon (2015). Mighty Real: Sharon Davis Remembers Sylvester. New Romney: Bank House Books.

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