I have never experienced such a deep emotional reaction about the death of a celebrity, or someone I have never met, as with Bowie. He is an icon of a generation. A symbol of all that was to come. He was cutting edge, ahead of his time, a starman, a time traveler, a masculine man and a feminine woman, a magician, a poet, a genius. It reflected in his art, in his music and performance right up until the end.
We all celebrated his birthday, and the new album release, and reveled in his brilliance. Then not even a week later he is gone. And I, like many others are gobsmacked and heartbroken.
I am gobsmacked because Bowie was more than a man, he transcended mortality, he was one of my Gods. A living God. Bowie doesn’t die. But he did.
His gospel provided the soundtrack to many significant moments in my life. Because it is not only the music he made, it is the associations I have with it. I connected with people over Bowie, danced and partied with him, raised my kids on him, turned to him when I was feeling insecure and insignificant, fell in love over him.
He, as a human and artist and performer, taught me about not giving a fuck and pushing boundaries and experimenting with gender and sexuality and sensuality and power and sound and vision. That identity is fluid and we are active agents in the creation and production of ourselves. And in that he, himself, and shaped my perspective and infiltrated my own identity.
I am heartbroken because, even though he is a God, the world was a better place with Bowie’s living energy vibrating in it.