Why there has never been a feature documentary on the legendary queer Icon SYLVESTER is still a mystery to us. At least this 15 min. short “Love Me Like You Should: The Brave and Bold Sylvester, released this week by Amazon Music to mark PRIDE is a very worthy filler.
From San Francisco filmmaker Lauren Tabak and writer Barry Walters comes this brief joyous account of this gender queer musical star who defined a whole generation in LGBTQ culture. It includes some wonderful archival footage from him being a choir boy in his youth to becoming the glam 1970’s hit maker who was both ‘the look’ and “the sound” of queer disco.
The larger-than-life Sylvester who gave us songs like “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and “Do Ya Wanna Funk” back by Two Tons of Fun never once felt the need to water himself down to be accepted by a wider audience. One of his many legacies to the community when he died AIDS in 1988 aged just 42, was to be proud of who we are.
One of those interviewed in this affectionate tribute is Pose star Billy Porter who wistfully said with a hint of envy “He was a gender-fluid Black man in mainstream music. That hasn’t happened since. There’s been a lot of us who have tried, and I’ve been trying for 30 years. Nobody did it like Sylvester.”