Arts & Entertainment
2 min

Cher’s gayest moments through the decades

To celebrate the pop diva's new album, we examine why we love her so much

1964 Cher sings the low parts in the Phil Spector wall-of-sound production of The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin' Feeling.” Bass/baritone Bill Medley feels as emasculated as Sonny will over the denouement of the Sonny & Cher Show.

1974 On the Sonny & Cher Show, Laverne takes a tour of guest Liberace’s Hollywood Hills mansion. Decades later Cher tweets, “Watched Behind the Candelabra. At end I felt tears streaming down my cheeks.”

1975 Cher debuts her eponymous TV show with guests Bette Midler, Elton John and Flip Wilson (aka Geraldine). As if that isn’t gay enough, they perform a medley that includes “Never Can Say Goodbye.

1979 Cher debuts her disco-inflected Take Me Home tour at Las Vegas’s Caesars Palace. The production features three backing singers, six dancers, two drag queens — as Bette Midler and Diana Ross, performing “I’m Coming Out” — a mechanical bull and 12 costume changes. Toronto queens go crazy when the tour arrives at the O’Keefe Centre.

1982 Cher stars in the film adaption of her Broadway debut Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. The potboiler features Karen Black as a (spoiler alert!) transsexual.

1991 Cher, inspired by her 75-year-old grandmother in leotards and the uber-butch gay gym culture, releases her first book, Forever Fit. The bible of exercise fails to mention cosmetic surgery. Forever Fit is now available on amazon.ca for 25 cents (plus shipping); however, its camp value is priceless.

1994 Cher endorses a line of skin and hair products in a bizarre series of infomercials. It not only fails to kill her career or dent her credibility but also creates an army of gay insomniacs with flawless skin and hair.

1996–2013 In 1996, Cher “comes out” on the cover of The Advocate as the mother of a lesbian: little princess Chastity of the Sonny & Cher Show had grown up to be a muffdiver. Then Chastity turns out to be trans, and Cher, in her inimitable way, deals with it in public. She stumbles over pronouns, then corrects herself; expresses her confusion but never stops loving or being proud. Everyone gets a lesson on sexual/gender fluidity and parenting.

1997 Cher is the keynote speaker for the national PFLAG convention in the US.

2002 In a bit of typecasting, Cher plays God on Will & Grace.

2005 The television program Great Things About Being . . . declares, in complete seriousness, that Cher is "the number one greatest thing about being gay.” Blowjob aficionados respect Cher’s status and don’t open their mouths to refute the statement.

2013 During New York Pride, Cher not only performs but shows up at a Cher drag contest to offer her benediction and to thank gays for “keeping me in sequins forever.”

2013, Part II After performing in Russia twice at the invitation of a billionaire fan, Cher claims he has invited her to open the Sochi Winter Olympics. She responds succinctly: “I immediately said no. I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there.”