Kevin Barnes: Of Montreal and Of the Next Wave

This interview with Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal is too cool. Wow: queer straight guys are really starting to exist. It makes me so happy.

The void came in handy when the family moved to staid Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. His brain still smoldering, young Barnes disappeared into his music. When he wasn’t writing songs about his desperate lust for girls, he was fantasizing about being attracted to boys. “I was more feminine than the other straight guys, and I got picked on,” says Barnes, who speaks in a fey whisper, so this is easy to imagine. “I was like, if I’m going to get picked on, I might as well be gay. Then I would at least have a support group, and we could isolate ourselves and be in that world together.” Being gay also seemed more interesting. “I romanticize homosexuality. Most of the gay guys I met were smart and so many of the straight guys were dipshits, especially in South Florida. I wanted to be part of the more elegant caste.” But Barnes never found a serious boyfriend—making out has been the extent of his homosexuality, which is why he says he’s not gay. “I’ve never had a connection where I wanted to tear a guy’s clothes off. I’ve been open to it. Maybe I haven’t found the right guy.”

Wow. It’s been cool for women to admit to such things for a long while now, but for guys? Not so much. Ah, brave new world, you can’t get here fast enough.