In this week’s edition, we reviewed the new album by the Backstreet Boys, In a World Like This, and, well, we didn’t like it. But we do like AJ McLean, one of the founding members of the group and a self-described fag hag: The straight singer made sure that, in the video of their title track single, they showed an older lesbian couple finally celebrating their right to marry.
Our Chris Azzopardi caught up with McLean to chat about how his queer friends (and “Same Love” rapper Macklemore) inspired that video, doing Marilyn Monroe in the nude for an upcoming book and the time the band performed with men they thought were women.
Dallas Voice: The video for the album’s first single, “In a World Like This,” celebrates marriage equality. Why was it important to take that stance with that music video? McLean: It stemmed from me personally. I have a lot of gay friends and two of my best friends have been together for almost 10 years. And living in California, it’s been so friggin’ frustrating to me that they could not get it right; they couldn’t pass the bill. Then, literally, right after we dropped the video, they actually passed the bill [allowing LGBT people to get married] in California, and I was just ecstatic. I just love the fact that people love each other, no matter if they’re the same sex or not. I think everybody’s equal, period.
I had just seen the Macklemore video for “Same Love” and that really inspired me. Knowing what the subject was about for “In a World Like This” — about love conquering all — we had talked with the director about basically having different moments in history that really were very impactful. We had done the first two, and then we were like, “What’s the last one gonna be?” I was like, “Why don’t we do something about same-sex marriage? We have a huge gay following and it’s a huge deal.” The guys were all on board and we made it happen. I was so happy about it.