Metro Weekly

Village People lead singer demands people stop saying ‘YMCA’ is about ‘illicit gay sex’

Victor Willis is threatening to sue any media outlet that claims otherwise

village people, ymca, gay, anthem

The Village People — Photo: Wiki Commons

The lead singer behind The Village People’s beloved ’70s smash hit “YMCA” has taken to Facebook to shoot down rumors that the song’s lyrics hint at clandestine sexual encounters between men, even going so far as to threaten to sue any media outlets that say otherwise.

Although the song has long been a pop culture staple of the LGBTQ community, Village People lead singer Victor Willis insisted fans need to “get [their] minds out of the gutter” and stop perpetuating the false narrative that his song celebrates anonymous gay hookups.

“I wrote 100% of the lyrics to Y.M.C.A., so I ought to know what my song is about,” Willis wrote. “Y.M.C.A. is one of the most iconic songs in the world. I will not stand idle and allow it to be defamed. Therefore, I will sue the next media organization, or anyone else, that falsely suggests Y.M.C.A. is somehow about illicit gay sex. Get your minds out of the gutter please! It is not about that!”

Still, with lyrics like “they have everything for you men to enjoy/you can hang out with all the boys,” it doesn’t require much mind-wandering to come up with a decidedly NSFW interpretation of the disco classic.

The Village People’s propensity towards campy, provocative outfits also helped fuel a gay interpretation of the song, with the six original members most easily recognized by their costumed getups as a Native American, cowboy, biker, construction worker, athlete, and a policeman.

Furthermore, the band’s hit song “In The Navy” has similarly been plagued by rumors of gay undertones and double entendre-laden lyrics, albeit with the “illicit gay sex” taking place in the Navy, rather than a YMCA.

Ironically, the one group of people seemingly unaware of the suggestive undertones of ‘YMCA’ are the most likely to be enraged by them: Trump Supporters.

The President has taken to playing the Village People’s hit at his rallies, much to the displeasure of Willis, and much to the amusement of anyone who has ever heard the song, which would seem to go against his particular brand of male chauvinism.

Earlier this year, Willis asked Trump to stop playing Village People on the campaign trail if the president was going to follow through on his threat to use the U.S. military to shut down ongoing BLM-inspired protests against racism and police brutality.

Willis isn’t the first musician to come out against a perceived widespread misinterpretation of his song, particularly where the Republican Party is concerned.

Bruce Springsteen has continuously condemned the Republican Party’s usage of his 80’s classic “Born In The U.S.A.” to signal conservative values and staunch patriotism, both of which are at direct odds with his song’s decidedly antiwar narrative, which calls out the American government’s disposable treatment of military members.

While Willis may not agree with “Y.M.C.A.” being a gay anthem, the song has been deemed an “American cultural phenomenon” by the Library of Congress.

Earlier this year, the 1978 hit was one of 25 historically or culturally “significant” recordings added to the National Recording Registry.

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