Michael Stipe

R.E.M. frontman Michael stipe, who lives with his partner – New York based photographer Thomas Dozol, says that he considers himself 80% gay but wouldn’t describe himself as bisexual.

“On a sliding scale of sexuality I’d place myself around 80-20, but I definitely prefer men to women,” the 51 year old singer told The Guardian. “I had sex with, and enjoyed sex with, women until I met someone that I fell in love with, and who is now my boyfriend.”

Stipe added that he doesn’t see himself as bisexual: “I hate and refuse to apply the term bisexual to myself. It doesn’t seem appropriate. It feels like just another label.”

In the interview, the star also talked about his difficulty with being open about his sexuality when he became well-known in the 80’s.

“For a time I was conflicted by how I was represented, and then AIDS came, and that’s an era that has still to be spoken about in depth by people of my age. It was a very difficult time to be honest and frank about one’s sexuality. And a very scary time for people like myself, who were not able to be tested anonymously without some concern. I mean, under Reagan, lest we forget, there was a time when they were talking about internment camps for people who were HIV positive. To this day I can’t give blood to the Red Cross because I have sex with a man,” he said.

Formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980, R.E.M. is known for hits including Shiny Happy People, Losing My Religion, Everybody Hurts and What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? The band releases its 15th studio album, Collapse Into Now, this month.

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