Meet Echo V - America's First Openly Gay Boyband

While most boybands have had a gay member come out over time, Echo V look to hit the charts open about their sexuality from the outset.

The Echo V lineup of five young men , two black, two white, one asian, all wearing open white shirts standing outdoors in a forested area

It may come as a surprise in our apparently enlightened times, but Echo V are heralding themselves as the United States’ very first openly gay boyband. While we can all name a boyband member who came out far into their group’s journey, keeping their sexuality a secret in case it would upset their legions of female fans, this group’s unique selling point is the fact they are waving the rainbow flag from the outset.

Meet Devin, Gama, Jake, Mike and Randy, looking to steal the hearts of fawning fans through their high pop anthems and inability to keep shirts buttoned. They’re hoping that the mainstream success of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Queer Eye For The Straight Guy may have opened middle America’s hearts and minds to the idea of a queer boyband. Time will tell if they’re successful.

Wicked Dublin MPU

While America usually sets cultural trends for other countries to follow, this is one area where Ireland got the jump. Way back in the mists of 1996, 4 Guyz were formed hoping to court the pink pound during the boyband explosion. Emerging in the wake of Boyzone, the press at the time dubbed them ‘Gayzone’.

Dreamed up by magazine editor Junior Larkin and concert promoter John Pickering, auditions were held in Dublin for openly gay guys to join the group. The eventual five people who made up the awkwardly named 4 Guyz were revealed to the world at the launch of new gay club Wunderbar and profiled on the TV show Eurotrash. Despite huge media attention and a tour of queer night spots and Pride festivals, the group would disband before the release of their first single.

Even though they might be over 20 years behind, Echo V have made it one step further than 4 Guyz by releasing their first single: ‘Rainbow’ – a celebration of pride and diversity.

That’s all well and good, but there’s really only one thing to talk about – which guy’s your favourite?

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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