Is Macklemore Gay?
Following the success of Same Love, Macklemore was subjected to rumours and speculations regarding his sexuality. The song aside, some people even pointed to his colourful and even campy outfits, coiffed hair, and onstage antics as evidence of his queerness. However, in a 2013 appearance on Chelsea Lately, the rapper explained that he was, in fact, straight. He also pointed out that this can be inferred if you listen closely to the lyrics of Same Love.
There’s a clear lesson to be learned here about queer stereotypes!
And though he is straight, Macklemore has proven that he does not simply use LGBTQ+ themes and messages to further his career. He’s actually a dedicated advocate to the community, proving that standing up for the queer community doesn’t automatically make you gay.
Getting To Know Macklemore
Before we go further into details about Same Love, let’s examine Macklemore’s beginnings as a rapper.
Macklemore was born Benjamin Hammond Haggerty on June 19, 1983. He grew up in Seattle, Washington, and was exposed to hip-hop from a very young age. Macklemore began to write lyrics when he was 15 years old, performing under the name Professor Macklemore from high school up until his first mixtape.
Macklemore’s first official album was called The Language of My World and was released in 2005. A year later, he met his would-be frequent collaborator, producer Ryan Lewis. The duo only began collaborating in 2009 though, and really only started doing cross-city tours and music festivals in 2011.
Success With Ryan Lewis And Advocacy
It was 2012 that really became the life-changing year for the pair. They released their successful album The Heist, that year. On the tracklist are the three songs that consistently put him on everyone’s radars – Thrift Shop, Can’t Hold Us, and of course, Same Love.
While Macklemore showed that straight people can be allies to the queer community with the release of Same Love, his 2016 song with Ryan Lewis, White Privilege II, dealt with the duo’s privilege within the hip-hop community as white musicians. Upon the release of the track, the two noted that the song was “the outcome of an ongoing dialogue with musicians, activists, and teachers within our community in Seattle and beyond.”
Macklemore has also opened up about alcoholism and battling addiction in the past.
Is Macklemore Married?
Macklemore is, in fact, married. Macklemore was dating his tour manager Tricia Davis for seven years before the two got engaged in January 2013. The two secretly wed on June 27, 2015.
The couple has two children, a daughter named Sloane whom they had prior to their marriage, and a second daughter born in 2017.
The Story Behind Same Love
Same Love’s lyrics bear messages of respect and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community and call for the passage of marriage equality. The song became something of a queer pride anthem, as it came at a time when the issue of allowing same-sex marriage had become a heated debate in America. But how did a straight rapper like Macklemore come to write the song that would eventually become a gay pride song for many?
As he mentioned in interviews, Macklemore grew up around a lot of gay people. “My dad’s best friend was gay. My barber was gay,” he told Out. “My uncles owned this restaurant that was a huge magnet for the gay community. My whole upbringing was around gay people.” He questioned his own sexuality in his childhood, even coming out to his mom, and this experience led him to develop a sense of empathy for queer kids.
Macklemore also admitted that he wrote the song to shed light on the homophobia that was rampant in his own community, the hip-hop community. “I think that looking at the hip-hop community, and holding myself accountable in the hip-hop community, was what I cared about,” he told the Huffington Post. “That’s my community; that’s who I see to be oppressing gay people.”
Macklemore’s LGBTQ+ Advocacy
When it comes to LGBTQ+ advocacy, Macklemore walks the talk too. In a controversial move in 2017, the rapper chose to perform the song at the ANZ stadium in Australia prior to the final NRL game of that year. According to a report by The Guardian, he altered the lyrics slightly to invite “the country’ to be united by law”. At the end of his performance, he shouted, “equality for all”.
He has also donated the proceeds of the song to Australia’s marriage equality campaign.
Macklemore is one of the few rappers out there who has gone above and beyond to express their support for the LGBTQ+ community and to advocate for marriage equality. He may not be queer, but he has proven to be an outspoken ally.