Australia: YMCA partners with Boy George to embrace eponymous gay anthem for first time

Christian youth organisation the YMCA unexpectedly found itself the subject of a gay anthem when the Village People released what was intended to be a “filler” track as a single, in 1978.

Soon, whether you were five or 50, you weren’t just humming it but could do the dance too. These days, somehow, each new generation seems born knowing it – yet in 1978, rather than embracing it, the YMCA in America threatened legal action.

“The YMCA that didn’t like [the song], and they were going to sue us,” Felipe Rose, the Native American in the band, told News Limited. “But they realised they didn’t own the copyright to four letters.”

It’s taken almost 40 years for any branch of the organisation to capitalise on the enormous popularity of the song – but on Tuesday, YMCA Australia took the leap, partnering with British singer Boy George to rerecord the song in support of the Why Not? campaign which aims to shine a light on issues that are important to Australian young people: marriage equality, mental health and youth unemployment. Read more via the Guardian