My Love Letter To The Smiths

I love The Smiths. I’m sure this is truly shocking information that’s bound to surprise everyone. I mean, I can’t believe I’m even sharing this with you guys. It’s been my scarlet letter for so long—”O” for Obvious Homosexual Music Choice. But listen, The Smiths taught alternative gays how to love men. It was the oxygen our closeted asses needed to breathe. Morrissey sang what our hearts needed to hear, which was, “I’m sad, horny, and can someone please have sex with me?”

I first heard The Smiths in the most uncool way possible. I was 13 years old and doing the chores around the house when I had heard an angelic voice begin to waft through the TV. We had Direct TV at the time (so chic) and I had put it on an eighties music satellite radio station to listen to while I Cinderella’d my way through the living room. Upon hearing that tortured voice, I dropped my broom immediately and rushed over to the TV to see who it was. When I saw that it was The Smiths, I instantly thought of the book, Perks of Being A Wallflower, and that song “Asleep.” “I know this band. They’re way influential,” I thought to myself. “I should check them out ASAP and tell my friends about them. Instant indie cred!” At 13, I only had a blurry watercolor of my gayness. I knew it was strange that I was so obsessed with Mary Cherry and Nicole Julian from Popular, and I definitely felt weird about the fact that I occasionally wore a shirt around my head so I could have long hair, but I couldn’t really grasp the concept of loving men. I wasn’t ready for that yet. But over the years, The Smiths and Morrissey began to teach me how.

I became one of those people who was so profoundly touched by a band’s music. Their lyrics mirrored my feelings exactly and when they were layered upon those jangly guitars, I was in heaven. Although I remained in the closet for a few more years, I was unabashedly in love with The Smiths. I even put that super gay poster of Johnny Marr and Morrissey on my wall, which completely confused my parents and friends. “I just really love them, okay?”, I would tell them. I remember spending countless hours in my bedroom staring at the ceiling and listening to Morrissey wail on my stereo. He became much more than a musician to me; he was my mentor. He was telling me the big gay secrets of the world and teaching me about love and heartbreak. I ate it up and then cried… a lot because, damn, his stuff is depressing.

Over time, I stopped listening to The Smiths so much and they became sort of like an afterthought. When someone would ask me what my favorite band was, I would have to think for a moment before remembering The Smiths. But that doesn’t mean I love them any less. When I listen to them now, it’s like a special treat. They still fill me with joy, which is rare with a band I loved in high school. All the others — Rilo Kiley, Modest Mouse, Tilly & The Wall — died a fiery death but The Smiths were spared.

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Morrissey perform at Carnegie Hall, but I unfortunately don’t remember any of it. My anxiety with crowds became unbearable so I took half a Xanax before the show started. Big mistake. All I can recall is someone trying to rush the stage and Morrissey being like, “Um, no.” TC mark

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Ryan O'Connell

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  • LoveLoveLove

    I love love love love love this and I love love love love The Smiths and I love love love love your articles. 

  • LoveLoveLove

    I love love love love love this and I love love love love The Smiths and I love love love love your articles. 

  • Brian

    I was 16 when I first saw The Smiths, saw being the key word. Their Top Of The Pops performance of  “This Charming Man” was playing on Fuse (when Fuse was still good) and I remember my jaw dropping to the floor, not in wonder of Morrissey, but of Johnny Marr and his cherry red Rickenbacker 330. 

    Strangely enough, I didn’t bother trying to listen to any of their other stuff until I was a freshman in college, around 19. That’s when I became infatuated with the band entirely, in particular Morrissey. I guess that infatuation was a confidence thing, he was able to instill that same defiant yet flamboyant charm in me that I wanted to have for so long. Then there’s also the sexuality thing, I had no idea that I would be the type of person to be in a lasting relationship with another boy until it just…happened right around when I turned 21 . And I’m 22 now. 

    Without The Smiths, I don’t think any of those self-discoveries would have happened. I can blame them or bless them at any time I want, and judging from what Morrissey’s lyrics have always hinted at, that’s what they want to have happen.

  • ryan chang

    ‘blurry watercolor of gayness.’ hahahah.

    ps. i love Moz and love and adore vagina. does that make me gay? 

    • NoSexCity

      Nah baby, they call guys like you “conflicted”.

      • ryan chang


  • Sarah

    “to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die”

    • Emily

      Quoted to death that one.

      • Nick

        Agreed. Probably got it from 500 Days of Summer

  • Kennneth

    Nah man, The Smiths is just obvious straight up, no need for the homosexual qualifier.  

  • Vicar In A Tutu

    I’ve been waiting for this article from you- thank you.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Nick

    I also love The Smiths. Andy Rourke DJ’s in a club near me on occasion. Not that interesting, but there you go

  • Ohsweetbabyjesus

    o morrissey u sure have let urself go :(

  • Gay World Problems

    “Instant indie cred!” made me smile.

  • Belinda

    I love the Smiths so very, very much. 

    “And though I walk home alone / my faith in love is still devout”. Oh Morrissey. 

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