THE BLOG
01/31/2014 12:51 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Jersey Boys' Secret Gay Anthem

There's only one good thing that Macklemore's controversial Grammys performance of "Same Love" did for me -- and one of my friends had to point it out for me to even see it.

While I'm angry that a straight white man is singing a gay marriage anthem and continues to co-opt the LGBT movement for the sake of his career, there was one good outcome: the mass wedding that accompanied the song may have given hope to struggling, young LGBT viewers.

This took me back to my childhood. I clung to any media representation of other gay and lesbian people when I was coming to terms with my own sexuality. The one song that soothed my churning soul was "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. At the time, this song seemed to be written by straight people for straight people, but it got me in a way no other tune did. Maybe it was the horns or the yearning in the lyrics. A whiff of magic.

While "Same Love" is gay love anthem manufactured by a straight performer, "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" is actually a secret gay love anthem written by a gay person. Bob Crewe, the creative mind behind Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, penned the song after staring at his naked lover on a kangaroo bedspread. The group became an international hit during the mid-1960s, but Crewe was never out. The song was never thought to be about love between two men. The life and times of the group are retold in the 2005 Broadway musical Jersey Boys, which still tours around the world.

How do I know this about my favorite song? Openly gay actor Jonathan Hadley, who has played Crewe since the show started on Broadway, told me on my new web series "Pillow Talk with Joanne."

If someone had told me my favorite song was actually a gay anthem when I was a kid, I would have thought it was just too good to be true. I'm glad I know now.

Pillow Talk with Joanne Ep. 2: In Bed with Jonathan Hadley

Pillow Talk with Joanne Ep. 3: Return of Jonathan Hadley

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