…in retrospect, it would’ve been a fun subtle gag if Cybele’s impressions had been Lennon, Gaga, Beyoncé, and some musician whose name starts with T.

But I did want to focus on singers with Iconic Looks. And Elton John has the distinction of being one of my first examples — maybe my first example — of “I had pre-existing knowledge of this celebrity through being familiar with their work, then later found out they were gay.”

(“Their work” in his case being…the Lion King soundtrack. I was pretty young, here.)

I don’t know how much this is still true for kids in the 2020s, when there are so many more openly-queer celebs, and it’s talked about so much more frankly. But as a kid in the 2000s, it made a big impression to have your mindset shifted from “okay, obviously gay people exist, somewhere out there” to “check it out, there are gay people you’ve already heard of, they’ve been integrated into your mainstream culture the whole time.”


Cybele: It’s you! Did you bring any of the music I asked about?

Cohen: It would help if you told me any of the musicians’ names.

Cybele: Oh, like you don’t recognize any of my impressions! Ahem . . .

Cybele (John Lennon): And with a love like that, you know you should be glad!

Cybele (Lady Gaga): I’m on the right track, baby / I was born this way!

Cybele (Elton John): I’m not the man they think I am at home / Oh, no no no / I’m a rocket man . . .

Cybele (Beyonce): Remember those walls I built? / Well, baby, they’re tumbling down / They didn’t even put up a fight / They didn’t even make a sound

Cohen: Tell you what: I will bring you every album that ever topped the US charts if you just say my name. Just “Cohen.” That’s not hard.

Cybele: No can do. What if my Master was your wife?

Cohen: Don’t have a wife.

Cybele: Your husband?

Cohen: No husband, either.

Cybele: Either of your parents?

Cohen: They’ve both been dead for years.

Cybele: Your kid?

Cohen: If my kid had a Being, I like to think I would’ve noticed. I don’t suppose it would help if I throw in the soundtracks of every Tony-winning Broadway musical?