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Madonna, Macklemore And Gay Weddings At The Grammys

28/01/2014 15:46 GMT | Updated 30/03/2014 10:59 BST

Unlike so many gay men, I do not look upon Madonna as being 'our glorious leader'.

I don't really voice an opinion on her. She's been famous longer than I've 'been' gay, in as much as back when she was rolling around the floor in a white wedding dress at the 1984 VMA's (Video Music awards) pretending to be 'Like A Virgin', I actually still was one.

Sexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality hadn't really entered my consciousness back then. I couldn't confirm or deny what I was.

Jump forward thirty years and we have Madonna, in a white suit, singing at the Grammys while three dozen couples of mixed sexualities and ethnicity's get married in front of her, in a ceremony officiated over by Queen Latifah, whilst a white 'Rap' group sing a song about 'Same Love'.

So is this progress?

Progress for sexuality? Progress for same sex couples? For Madonna? For Queen Latifah? For white rappers and lastly, progress for me?

Let's go back to the beginning and start with Madonna and me.

Against what some people think is the gay 'stereotype', I'm not really one of her fans. However, my actions after watching her arrival on the red carpet and then performance, I played true to stereotype and took to social media to comment on her appearance. As a gay man it's my god given right to comment, to be bitchy and to say inappropriate things about anyone in the public eye.

I was aware that some of my comments were ageist and could be mistaken for misogyny, but fuelled by virtual applause, 'Likes' on Facebook and to be honest, Madonna's ability to be the gift that just keeps on giving, I carried on.

I wasn't commenting on her face, her voice, on her career longevity or the significance of her performance and the fact that she was singing at a great gay love in, I just offered my fashion critique of her choice of outfits.

I didn't give any thought as to the relevance of her being there or of the people getting married because like I said before, I'm gay, get over it, BUT whilst doing the research to write this piece, I found out that Madonna had every right to be up on that stage.

It wasn't a cynical ploy by an 'ageing' pop star to remain relevant. She has done an enormous amount of work for the gay community and for HIV awareness since the very beginning of her career. Of course, she has been financially awarded by her fans for this, but she remains one of the few who constantly put herself at the forefront and lends her voice to the call for equality and tolerance.

I haven't heard anyone comment on the relevance or right of Queen Latifah to be standing on that stage, and although 'coming out' and the decision to do so remains a personal one, let's remember that this is a woman who has never openly confirmed (or denied) her lesbianism.

Madonna's been waving her gay flag for years, Latifah's is still somewhere in her closet.

I love the message within the Macklemore song 'Same Love'.

It's a brave move for a (white) rapper to release a song calling for equality and the right for gay couples to get married. Rap music is notoriously homophobic and also dare I say it, racist, BUT the song, whilst defending gay rights and calling for understanding, is undermined by the constant affirmation of Macklemore saying whilst he supports equality, he is most definitely straight.

Madonna within her career and music has blurred the lines of sexuality. Macklemore has defended being gay but drawn his own very defined 'straight' line firmly down the middle. So it's difficult for me to understand why Macklemore and Queen Latifah have been lauded for their openness and bravery but Madonna has been covered by an avalanche of abuse because for her face, lack of relevance, choice of outfit and constant demand for attention.

I am lucky that I live my life openly, have choices and can even allow myself to sometimes be 'jaded' when it comes to calls for equality. I grew up in the 1980's, a time when there wasn't a huge tolerance of gay people. Fast forward 30+ years and because of education, because of people in the public eye like Madonna, who sometimes are more affective in spreading a message of understanding and tolerance than any politician could be, I can take to social media and comment on their appearance, rather than recognise the huge amount of work and support they have offered to the gay community.

I revisited both of Madonna's performances today. The 1984 VMA's when she sang 'Like A Virgin' in her white wedding dress and 2014's Grammy Awards when she sang 'Open Your Heart' in a white wedding suit whilst three dozen couples were married in front of her, and I realised that for thirty years she's actually been singing the same song and calling for tolerance for 'Same Love'.

So although we comment on her age, alleged facial surgery and seemingly never ending need for attention, it's time we gave the 'old girl' some credit and recognised the huge difference she's made. I'm certainly not a 'fan' but I shall certainly think twice next time before I berate her for her fashion choices.