I may be the only person today to admit that I wasn’t a huge David Bowie fan. Not that I disliked his work, I just never really sought it out. I’ve heard many of the songs, I’m sure. I’d seen him crop up throughout popular culture, as he seemed so good at doing. I enjoyed his cameo in Zoolander, and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in Watchmen’s opening credits in front of Studio 54, where he seemed age-appropriate even decades later.
But today, reading through all of these tributes to his life and work from my friends is helping me come to grips with what we lost. The memories they’re sharing, and the explanations of how he directly influenced so many of my weird and wonderful peers is helping me understand him, and them, as the unique, irreplaceable people they are.
He helped make generations of misfits, freaks, and weirdos find the confidence they needed to embrace their inner selves and take pride in their differences instead of hiding them. Without knowing it until now, my life would have been so much more… bland… had he not given so many of my friends the courage to be themselves. By empowering them, he enriched us all.
Thank you, Ziggy Stardust, for breathing light into a million other stars.