Gillian Frank

We at Notches mourn the passing of the iconic singer and performer David Bowie. A dynamic artist, Bowie pushed the boundaries of genre, gender, and sexuality in his life and work. His sexual identity and its public performance were versatile, challenging and complex.

To reflect upon his life and influence, we offer some sources to begin thinking about David Bowie’s place in the history of sexuality of the 1970s and 1980s.

What sources would you use to place David Bowie within a longer and broader history of sexuality? What memories do you have of David Bowie, his music, and his career that locate him within the history of sexuality?


Gillian Frank is a Managing Editor of Notches: (re)marks on the History of Sexuality. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at Center for the Study of Religion and a lecturer in the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton University. Frank’s research focuses on the intersections of sexuality, race, childhood and religion in the twentieth-century United States. He is currently revising a book manuscript titled Save Our Children: Sexual Politics and Cultural Conservatism in the United States, 1965-1990Gillian tweets from @1gillianfrank1.

Creative Commons License

NOTCHES: (re)marks on the history of sexuality is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at

For permission to publish any NOTCHES post in whole or in part please contact the editors at


Leave a Reply