Oct 21, 2013

Jim Morrison: Bisexual Poet of the Dark Side

I didn't know Jim Morrison of the Doors until 1980, when a biography by Jerry Hopkins and Daniel Sugerman appeared on the racks at Readmore Book World, with a shirtless photo and a provocative title, No One Here Gets Out Alive.

It made Jim Morrison into a tortured poet with ties to the world of magic and the occult, a hippie rebel against convention of all sort.  That read Gay to me, although the book made him sound exceptionally homophobic.  But in the 1980s, every biography of a gay or bi man made him sound like a homophobic heterosexual.

Other biographers have mentioned that Morrison was bisexual, usually in a negative light.  Break on Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison (1992), says that his search for "the dark side" led him to "unpleasant places," like gay bars. Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend (2005) talks of his "midnight ramblings in the gay underworld."

But there's a lot of gay symbolism in the Doors' lyrics:

"Break On Through" (1967) seems to be a search for a "good place":
You know the day destroys the night, night divides the day
Tried to run, tried to hide, break on through to the other side

"Strange Days" (1967) sounds like nights at the levee, looking for love in the darkness:

Strange days have found us..we linger alone
Bodies confused, memories misused
As we run from the day,  to a strange night of stone

And "The Soft Parade" (1969) seems to include a reference to same-sex love:
There's only four ways to get unraveled:
One is to love your neighbor 'till his wife gets home

And Jim Morrison's writings:

Boys get crazy in the head and suffer
I sacrifice my c*** on the altar of silence. (The American Night).

Every gay and bi man in the 1960s sacrificed himself on the altar of silence.

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