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People Are Thanking George Michael For Proving "There's No One Right Way To Be A Man"

"George Michael's defiance was everything if you were a gay teenager in the 90s."

Posted on December 26, 2016, at 1:07 a.m. ET

Following the news of George Michael's death on Christmas Day, people are thanking the iconic performer for the impact he had on LGBT people.

Gill Allen / AP

Tons of people are saying he was the first openly gay person they remember seeing in the spotlight.

George Michael was an entire generation's First Gay and we will never know how many young boys that helped.

George Michael took up the fight against AIDS/HIV long before it was popular, was Out long before it was easy, he was an LGBT pioneer #RIP

One of the first gay icons I can even remember... George Michael is an absolute legend. ❤

I'll always respect #GeorgeMichael for blowing up his reputation, fighting a world that wouldn't accept him, and insisting on being himself

And many who were teenage fans are thanking him for helping them "realize we weren't alone."

George Michael RIP. You soundtracked so many moments, and your visibility and pride helped 90s LGBT kids like me realise we weren't alone.

George Michael's defiance was everything if you were a gay teenager in the 90s.

I was 15 when I first told someone I was gay. It was my sister and her actual response was "at least one of us can marry George Michael".

People are especially celebrating Michael's unabashed sex positivity.

George Michael was hella gay and banged a lot of dudes and now we get to live rich, gay, dude-banging lives so I'm pretty thankful for that.

What George Michael did for the sex-positive movement in music and art, really, as a gay man... can't be understated

"He led," one person said.

When I was young. George Michael was a sex symbol to women. He came out, we all blinked and said “Right, keep going.” A big change. He led.

Another icon who bravely challenged notions of gender and sexuality gone too soon. RIP George Michael 🙏🏼💔

Michael, along with Prince and David Bowie, "got us to rethink masculinity," many pointed out.

George Michael will be missed. Not an original thought, but it’s worth recognizing how he, Prince, and Bowie got us to rethink masculinity.

In 2016 when toxic masculinity reigned, devastating to lose Prince, Bowie & George Michael, who showed there's no one right way to be a man

Thank you to Bowie, Prince, and George Michael for showing me masculinity comes in many beautiful forms.

david bowie, prince and george michael are all jamming out together and laughing at the fragile masculinity standards

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