Long before 'N Sync's Lance Bass came out of the closet and crushed the hearts of 13-year-old girls around the world, Stephen Gately was actually the first boy-band member to publicly admit he was gay. Back in 1999, Gately put the popularity of his Irish group, Boyzone (perhaps the gayest boy-band name, like, ever) at risk when he told The Sun, "I'm gay and I'm in love!" Coincidentally, it was revealed that he was head over heels for the member of another boy band, Caught in the Act (perhaps the second gayest boy-band name ever). So it is only fitting that Boyzone (reunited last year after disbanding in 2000) is now the first boy band to release a music video featuring a same-sex couple: Gately and some random hottie.
In the video for the terrifically cheesy ballad, "Better," the other band members are paired with women—they gaze at each other, caress, brush cheeks. And Gately does the same with a man. When he sings to his onscreen partner, "See, what I'm trying to say is/You make things better/And no matter what the day is/With you here, it's better," I melt a little.
Don't make fun of me. You know there is a tween girl trapped inside my body. And if you're a gay man who is reading this, you might as well confess to the same thing. CONFESS!
You know you want to watch the video now. So watch it (if the video is no longer available, watch it here):
Back Again...No Matter What: The Greatest Hits, which features Boyzone's best songs plus three new tracks (including "Better"), is available now. It's already on my iPod (the one wrapped in the pink Hello Kitty skin).
[Addendum 11.16.08: When I first posted this, Boyzone was referred to as a "UK group." I have made a correction, and it now reads an "Irish group," after an exchange in the comments section with an astute reader.]