Amazon Music has released a mini-documentary about US disco legend Sylvester, in celebration of LGBTQI+ Pride Month.
Created by filmmaker Lauren Tabak and writer Barry Walters, “Love Me Like You Should: The Brave and Bold Sylvester” follows the journey of the “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and “Dance (Disco Heat)” singer from a Los Angeles choir boy to an international disco hit-maker.
The 15-minute doc also features archival footage, as well as rare performance clips and interviews with Pose’s Billy Porter, The Weather Girls member Martha Wash, Sylvester’s sister Bernadette Baldwin, biographer Josh Gamson, songwriter James Wirrick, and more.
Sylvester died in 1988 of an AIDS-related illness at 42, but his legacy, however, continues to live on through his music.
The film blurb notes: “Through his groundbreaking career, Sylvester blew open the doors for queer visibility and gender fluidity in mainstream music, leaving a legacy that continues to influence today’s pop music.”
Billy Porter said: “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.”
“Sylvester was always ahead of us. He did things like talk about being married to a man before gay marriage was a thought,” Gamson said. “He responded to Joan Rivers saying that he was this drag queen by saying, ‘But I’m not a drag queen, I’m Sylvester.’ He wasn’t saying there’s something wrong with being a drag queen, he was saying that’s not how gender works. It was gender fluidity and nonbinary gender before we were really there.”
Watch “Love Me Like You Should: The Brave and Bold Sylvester” below.