Dannii Minogue was told she’d lose her career over LGBTQ+ allyship: ‘It was never a tough decision’

BBC Three announces new gay dating show hosted by Dannii Minogue

Pop princess Dannii Minogue has revealed the warning she received before her first performance at London’s G-A-Y nightclub – and why she thought she might lose her career for ignoring it.

When the historic G-A-Y nightclub opened its doors in the Astoria in the 1990s, the UK was a very different place. Princess Diana was still alive, Queen Elizabeth had only just celebrated her golden jubilee and Lily Savage was tearing up TV.

Those various queens aside – and despite Savage’s subversiveness – society was also a lot less accepting of queer people, so much so that even a celebrity performing at a gay club could spark a media frenzy.

Over in Australia at the same time, Kylie’s younger sister – and I Kissed a Boy host – Dannii was starting her career as pop starlet. With her debut album dominating the hearts and minds of gays across the globe, followed swiftly by a follow-up, she has often credited her success to her queer followers, and in return, gave us some of G-A-Y’s earliest performances.

Speaking to RETROPOP magazine, Dannii revealed that G-A-Y’s then new owner, Jeremy Joseph, asked her to be the club’s first performer “at a time when people would not perform at a gay club because you’d be tarnished”.

Dannii said: “There was no social media, you had no right of reply and if you’re going to perform there then the press were for sure gonna say, ‘Oh, well, then they’re gay,’ and you’d lose your career. So you were told not to do that.”

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Dannii Minogue performing at G-A-Y in 2004. (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

Ever the ally, though, the choice to appear, despite the political climate, was “never a tough or a big decision”, according to the All I Wanna Do singer.

“There were a lot of people saying, ‘This and this and this and this could happen’, but [I thought] I’m gonna go and do it anyway. I’m going to be having fun, everyone’s going to be having a good time, and everyone else can make up what they want,” she said.

Dannii told the magazine that one part of her reasoning for disregarding the prejudice was that “the gays just know how to do stuff”, as Jennifer Coolidge‘s Tanya says in The White Lotus.

“Gay clubs are the most fun because everyone who’s there loves pop music and the energy is great,” Dannii said.

Kylie Minogue and Dannii Minogue make a heart shape with their hands while performing in matching outfits at Sydney WorldPride.
Dannii Minogue with sister Kylie. (Getty/Don Arnold)

In the end, not only was Dannii’s appearance the first performance at G-A-Y, hers was also the “last performance at their original venue”, she pointed out.

“To be able to go to different gay clubs around the world is just awesome… it’s the music that unites everyone,” she added.

Dannii, who has had eight Top 10 singles in the UK, is set to host the BBC dating show I Kissed a Boy – the latest feather in her cap, proving that she’s one of the world’s top LGBTQ+ ally. The show is the first all-gay programme of its kind, and features one very special twist