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Village People star insists that YMCA is not about ‘illicit gay sex’ and threatens to sue anyone who says it is

Nick Duffy September 23, 2020
Village People star threats to sue anyone who says YMCA is about gay sex

Victor Willis of the Village People performs in 2019 (Andrew Chin/Getty Images)

Village People star Victor Willis has threatened to sue media outlets who suggest that his song “YMCA” is about “illicit gay sex”.

The heterosexual frontman has long insisted that the group’s early songs, including “YMCA”, “In the Navy” and “Macho Man”, are written to be “universal” and are not specifically about gay experiences.

In a Facebook post, Willis took things further by threatening to sue media outlets who report that “YMCA”, a song about hanging out “with all the boys” at the Young Men’s Christian Association, is about using the popular gym and shelter as a gay cruising spot.

Village People frontman: I will sue anyone who suggests “YMCA” is about gay sex.

He wrote: “NOTICE ABOUT YMCA: News and Twitter trending of ‘YMCA’ is off the chart right now with false accusations about the song.

“But as I’ve said numerous times before (and this was proven in federal court), I wrote 100 per cent of the lyrics to ‘YMCA’, so I ought to know what my song is about.

“‘YMCA’ 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 organisation, or anyone else, that falsely suggests ‘YMCA’ is somehow about illicit gay sex.

“Get your minds out of the gutter please! It is not about that!”

YMCA writer Victor Willis of Village People performs during Riot Fest at Douglas Park on September 15, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
Victor Willis of Village People performs during Riot Fest at Douglas Park on September 15, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Daniel Boczarski/Redferns)

Willis has previously explained that “YMCA” was “written by me as an expression of urban youths having fun at the YMCA”. He added: “The words were crafted by me to be taken any number of ways but not specific to gays. It’s much broader than that. The song is universal. I don’t mind that gays think the song is about them.”

He told news.com.au: “”I wrote it about hanging out in urban neighbourhoods in my youth. ‘You can hang out with all the boys’ was a term about me and my friends playing basketball at the Y.”

Donald Trump has been using Village People songs at rallies.

The song has been in the news because, alongside “Macho Man”, it is being frequently used by Donald Trump at rallies despite a previous request for him to cease using the music.

Trump was captured dancing to the song at a rally in Ohio on Monday (21 September).

However, Willis said it is not technically illegal for the president to use the songs.

He tweeted: “Lots of controversy over Donald Trump’s use of ‘YMCA’. As I’ve said before, Donald Trump’s use is perfectly legal so I won’t be suing the president.

“However, I will sue the next newspaper that falsely claim my lyrics are somehow about gay sex. It is not.”

Speaking to Bloomberg, he elaborated: “‘YMCA’ is everybody’s anthem and go-to song for fun. As for the president’s use, I have not granted permission for use at his rallies because permission is not required.

“If I were a Trump hater maybe I’d sue him simply out of spite. I am not, and I’m not going to have my lawyers sue the president. But he should at least do the ‘YMCA’ dance while he’s at it.”

More: Donald Trump, gay sex, victor willis, village people, ymca

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