One of the many blatant misconceptions of Vampire Weekend haters is the band’s whiteness, when in fact the one of the band’s central members—keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij—is the son of Iranian immigrants who fled the country in the wake of the 1979 Revolution. Batmanglij has just thrown another ratchet into the pidgeonhole by coming out of the closet.
In an interview with Out Magazine, Batmanglij, 26 years old, has given the first public statement that he is, in fact, a Gay American. Not only that, but “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” a song Batmanglij recorded with Discovery, was intended to be something of a gay anthem.
With that song I was having fun, but at the same time it was honest — those lyrics are meaningful to me, they come from my heart,” he says. “I was disappointed when it didn’t become a gay anthem, but, you know, it’s not too late.
In 2004, Kalefa Sennah wrote a famous New York Times piece that popularized the concept of rockism, and exposed, among other things, rockism’s homophobic streak. While that piece has turned many critics and fans away from rockism, the rockist card has often been played when criticizing the band, often using a homophobic tone.