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Vampire Weekend Keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij Comes Out As Gay

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.



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Rostam Batmanglij
Vampire Weekend

I'm coming out as someone who doesn't care who people in bands are sleeping with.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/mburr/Photo 44.jpg mburr

"11% of Americans don't think Obama was born in the US. That same 11% wants to set their daughter up with Adam Lambert" - Conan O'Brien.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Ethan/nirvana-corporate-rock-whoresjpg.jpg EStan

So... to be clear, now it's homophobic to not like Vampire Weekend?

Greg Ingber

Nope, but the comment that VW is "made by white sissies" (as mentioned in the linked site) seems rather unfortunate in context.

::blasts Judas Priest on speakers set to 11::

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Ethan/nirvana-corporate-rock-whoresjpg.jpg EStan

The comment is was made prior to this. Relating homphobia with disliking this band is ridiculous. people dislike the music- not the band... simply because they're not good.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/dukkookim/6460_1130716601218_1626340558_309884_1280450_njpg.jpg dukkookim

This is old news. Rolling Stone beat you to it couple issues ago.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/prefix/no-user-pic.gif schulzey34

The only reason to read Rolling Stone is if you like John Mellancamp and/or Tom Petty.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/thestorfer/1202393jpeg.jpeg andross

In terms of songs embraced by the gays, I personally prefer "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" to "Single Ladies." Though I still prefer the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" to both.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Ethan/nirvana-corporate-rock-whoresjpg.jpg EStan

Soooo, when are the other members coming out?


yeah dukkookim, they're no Arcade Fire or Pedro the Lion.

Big Tam

tru da dat big tam. how i long for a ptl album ala pre- achilles heel

/site_media/uploads/images/users/dukkookim/6460_1130716601218_1626340558_309884_1280450_njpg.jpg dukkookim

So the last paragraph of this post, it was merely to point out that some comment, posted on the internet by nobody in particular, was "rather unfortunate in context"? OK, I guess you showed them. Whoever the hell "they" are. If I didn't know better, I would have guessed the dual invocation of the terms rockist and homophobe above was intended to shame into silence those of us who continue to find this band's music to be appallingly mediocre.

Tell you what: now that we know there is an actual homosexual in Vampire Weekend, let's see if we can find some appropriate, yet non-homophobic, terms to substitute the offending word in the phrase "music by white sissies". How about "Wusses"? "Wimps"? "Weaklings"? "Wannabes"?

Greg Ingber

Vampire Weekend is wonderful in my opinion. Their music gives me chill bumps every time I listen to it <3
I think it's cool that Rostam had the confidence to come out, a lot of people can't do that, & I sort of appreciate the band's support in the matter (he probably wouldn't have admitted it at all if he thought he would be critisized by his band).
Rostam is just such a cool person; he did almost everything on LP, & he does a huge amount of work for VW.

Adam Reid

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