Soft Cell's Marc Almond calls for divisions within LGBTQ+ community to heal: 'Be kinder to each other'

Virgin Radio

28 Jun 2023, 13:51

Marc Almond performing

Credit: Getty

Ahead of a run of festivals and a headline show at Rochester Castle (7th July) Soft Cell’s Marc Almond has called for people within the LGBTQ+ community to “be kinder to each other."

During a discussion with, Marc opened up about the cracks in the support he's seen within the LGBTQ+ community, particularly online.

He explained: "I see, especially through social media, divisions amongst our own community – be kinder to each other and realise that only through standing together can we hold onto the gains we have made and ensure a better world for everyone.

"Every generation struggles not only to find their place but a context. I know older gay people who are still not out, unable to embrace this changing world, unfamiliar with this new openness, their closets sealed shut by decades of shame or abuse.  Try to see the world from their point of view too, you might learn something about your own past."

This plea comes from an exclusive conversation where The Tainted Love singer spoke about how the likes of Brexit and Covid played a big part not just in music creation, but in performing too.

He explained: "The singular biggest change of course was the Covid pandemic, and how we all had to reinvent ourselves to survive."

On the main source of inspiration for his new music, including the 2022 Soft Cell album Happiness Not Included, Marc said: "I found a meaningful theme to write about. I just keep returning to these two worlds, pre-Covid and post, and now it seems to me that all bets are off. In truth, I had not worked in two years like most people and Soft Cell offered a better opportunity than my solo career."

During our exclusive chat, the 80s star also championed stars such as Montero rapper Lil Nas X for being "challenging and subversive” to issues surrounding the LGBTQ+ community.

Marc offered some further advice, adding: “So many strong LGBTQ+ people out there pushing boundaries.  It comes back to feeling pride in ourselves and saying something about our lives. I suppose the early trans rights activist Marsha P Johnson was right. 'If a transvestite doesn’t say I’m gay and I’m proud and I’m a transvestite, then nobody else is going to hop up there and say I’m gay and I’m proud and I’m a transvestite for them.'"

We also spoke to Marc about his 80s legacy ahead of his run of festival shows, and he explained why it look a while to warm to one of their biggest hits - Tainted Love.

It turns out that even though audiences adored the chart-topper, lead singer Marc wasn’t sold on covering the Gloria Jones track when it was released.

Speaking exclusively to ahead of his Rochester Castle Concerts appearance, we asked Marc how it felt having Tainted Love as a staple on Virgin Radio 80s, and it being so beloved by fans and fellow 80s artists. 

“It fills me with humility I suppose,” the singer explained. “I didn’t like the song for a while as in some ways, I thought Soft Cell were more than just that one song, and of course we are. 

On what changed his mind, Marc added: “Over time, I came to realise that one song has made so much possible for us both – it changed everything irreversibly and for that I will always be grateful and lucky. I was lucky – never underestimate luck.”

The Rochester Castle Concerts run from 6th July until 9th July. For more information and the full line-up, visit