Talk:Boy George

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Personal life[edit]

To continue the discussion about his personal life. perhaps more positive things could be added. but invading other people's privacy who aren't celebrities should be avoided. Jon Moss is mentioned because he is also a celebrity and was in Culture Club with George as well as other well known bands and thus put himself in the spotlight. George's other lover, Michael Dunne was not a celebrity or a famous musician. George has only briefly talked about that relationship in the media, whereas he has talked extensively about his relationship with Mr. Moss. Naturally, people here can only draw on what George has said in the media and not write things that are rumors or gossip. George has written two autobiographies so perhaps information about his personal life could be got from there and put in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:23, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Also, I'm not sure there needs to be a separate section about sexual orientation as well as the personal life section. The sexual orientation section has more neutral and positive information about his personal life that could be put into that section. To me, sexual orientation is part of a person's personal life so I don't see the need for a separate section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

This personal life section is only a history of legal troubles... perhaps it should be named accordingly? I don't consider my parking tickets and other legal troubles a part of my personal life. If any information is available on his romantic history or leisure activities, these should be included, but with the existing information, no personal life section seems necessary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:48, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

The sexual orientation section should be a subsection of Personal life. Jim Michael (talk) 22:58, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

George, Boy George or O'Dowd?[edit]

The article varies in referring to him using all three, when it should be consistent. Usually, an encyclopedia biography should refer to the subject by his surname. Jim Michael (talk) 22:58, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Consistency would be good. However, he is almost universally known by his professional name 'Boy George', so using George and/or O'Dowd can be a bit confusing for readers. Bono, Madonna (entertainer) & [[Vic Reeves], for instance, exhibit the same difficulty to different degrees. --Escape Orbit (Talk) 16:50, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

"that he had bought without knowing its origin"[edit]

The text and its context can be interpreted as implying that he should have known that the antique dealer was fencing stolen goods.

Another point is that there might be a better choice of words, then to say that he returned the icon to the Church of Cyprus. He made a legal purchase from an antique deler, and then later transferred (for unspecified reasons) the icon to a religious organization. --Normash (talk) 16:59, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

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An editor has twice reversed my edit describing Boy George (George O'Dowd) as second-generation Irish rather than English. I presume the fact that George O'Dowd was born in England is the reason my change has been rejected. The most recent reversion was accompanied by a reference to a 'POV' edit. If, as I imagine, POV is an abbreviation for 'point of view', I would contest this high-handed description. The issue of nationality for second-generation Irish people born in the UK is a complicated area, but suffice to say for now that many people born in countries other than England are described on Wikipedia as English (e.g. George Orwell), illustrating that country of birth is not necessarily the determinant of nationality. Children of Irish citizens born in England are automatically considered Irish by the Irish government, and can obtain an Irish passport. British citizenship is granted to the same children under certain conditions defined by British nationality law. Note that this would be British citizenship, not English nationality, so even if George O'Dowd has claimed citizenship under British law, he will be described in law as British, not English. It follows that George O'Dowd can be described without contradiction as Irish (within Irish law), and as British if he meets British nationality-law criteria (this will have been established if he applied for a British passport). I think the Wikipedia editor's granting of precedence to 'English' over Irish nationality demonstrates a lack of understanding of the issue, and shows a bias in favour of 'English' nationality. I had nuanced my edit by specifying that O'Dowd is second-generation Irish, a description that has no basis in Irish law but which, in my view, better describes his nationality. I have emailed the Boy George website to query Boy George's nationality, and await a reply. If the editor has evidence that Boy George is English and not second-generation Irish (note: rejecting my edit is effectively a double declaration: that Boy George is English, and that he is not second-generation Irish), I wish to learn of it. My belief that Boy George is second-generation Irish is based on the following: (i) his parents were both Irish by birth (i.e. born to Irish parents in Ireland); (ii) the children of Irish citizens are considered Irish within Irish law without the need to acquire documentation (e.g. George O'Dowd would be automatically entitled to full voting rights in Ireland were he to live here, and without the need to obtain documentation); (iii) Boy George has often declared himself to be Irish (though he may have dual nationality: Irish and British). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Daoipal1930s (talkcontribs) 17:43, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Generally on Wikipedia we need such attributions to be verified by means of references. So if you can find some reliable sources to agree with your point of view then it might be possible to propose such a change. But just professing your own opinion on George's nationality repeatedly without any external support won't get you anywhere. CalzGuy (talk) 18:11, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
He was born in England. He has spent most of his life in England. He is known as being English. Whether he could chose to have an Irish passport is of far, far, less significance than these three points. Whether he has chosen to have Irish nationality is unknown. So your construction of a possible case of what nationality he could be granted if he might want it, is entirely irrelevant. While I believe he does make reference to his parent's nationality on occasion, he doesn't identify himself as "second generation Irish" in preference to the nationality he was born into. So this article won't be making that decision for him unless some good sources emerge that show that's how he primarily identifies.
Personally I can't imagine what kind of tangled mess articles would become if we were to start describing people in terms of how many generations they are separated from Ireland, rather than the nationality they are born into. --Escape Orbit (Talk) 20:35, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
Because place of birth does not necessarily define nationality. Try changing Gerry Adams nationality to British or Prince Philip to Greek and see how far you it. Nationality is self described. If George describes himself as Irish and there are reliable sources to support it, then there may well be a case for change. The second gen stuff is irrelevant in the lead. But i fear that there will be counter references which declare him British anyway. CalzGuy (talk) 23:51, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
Daoipal1930s should be aware that, like most articles about residents/citizens of the UK, this article attracts edits that change the nationality description seemingly at random (e.g here in October last year, here in July 2014, here in January 2012 etc....) and established editors who are watching the article may revert in the interests of stability. Also please note that in this particular instance, on each occasion that "second generation Irish" was reverted (by two separate editors, not one), the reversion was accompanied by an edit summary that advised the opening of a discussion on the issue, so to describe these reversions as "a double declaration that Boy George is English" seems rather OTT. Most established editors are quite reasonable and prepared to talk through issues related to articles.
On the specifics of the issue of the most recent edits, I agree with CalzGuy: an assessment needs to be made based on what reliable sources state (unfortunately a private email correspondence with a primary source carries no weight as far as verifiability is concerned). PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 10:22, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
Well indeed. The key phrase being "If George describes himself". Daoipal1930s has given nothing to demonstrate that George's preferred nationality is Irish, and instead offers his own research about how he could be, if he wanted to be. It is perfectly possible to be both English and second generate Irish. But the question here is what best describes him to the reader? It would seem obvious that the former paints a much clearer picture, and his Irish roots are well covered later in the article. --Escape Orbit (Talk) 16:04, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

This discussion, in the first instance, points to how Wikipedia editors assume contributors to Wikipedia know how the system works – i.e. I was advised to open a discussion on the issue, when in fact I had no idea how to do so (why didn't the editor do so?). An editor also described my edit as 'Convoluted POV' - an abbreviation I did not understand (and a description – 'convoluted' – I consider inaccurate and insulting). Both of these things make me feel as if I've strayed into a club of which I'm not a member. The statement 'won't get you anywhere' is also high-handed – it wouldn't pass muster in an academic publication, so why here? More substantially, the declaration that Boy George is English because, among other things, 'He is known as being English' follows the statement that 'just professing your own opinion on George's nationality repeatedly without any external support won't get you anywhere'. This is contradictory – i.e. the statement 'He is known to be English' surely does not constitute good grounds for insisting he is English (and I might add that in Ireland he is known to be Irish, so where does this get us?). An editor declares 'place of birth does not necessarily define nationality'. Precisely. But another editor offers 'He was born in England' as reason for describing Boy George as English. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Daoipal1930s (talkcontribs) 12:53, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm sorry if you found my summary insulting. I tend to make them short and to the point. What I was trying to say is that George's nationality appears to be your own personal Point Of View without anything factual relating directly to him to back it up. The fact you performed the same edit on John Lydon appears to suggest that it has little to do with the particular person in the article.
I described it as 'Convoluted' because the lead paragraph should be hitting the main aspects of what makes the person notable and how they are best known. Describing George (or Lydon) as 'second generation Irish' does neither of these things. It is of lesser significance, and it leaves the reader uninformed how they might best recognise them. Are they second generation Irish-American? Irish-Scottish? Irish-Australian? What exactly does "second generation" mean? The reader is puzzled and most likely to be asking themselves; "Why doesn't this article start with the nationality they are best known as, and fill in the background detail later?"
He is best known as being English, and tidily this best fits in with his nationality, place of birth etc, etc. Whether he identifies as being Irish is something you haven't demonstrated. If we are to describe him, in preference, as Irish (whether second generation or not) you need to show him actually making a statement along the lines of "I identify as Irish, not English" or words to that effect. Showing he actually has claimed dual nationality would also be a big help. But you haven't done this, and instead offer your own research on how he could be Irish, if he wanted to be. That's not nearly good enough. --Escape Orbit (Talk) 16:31, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for the explanation. However, it doesn't convince me. You state that 'He is best known as being English', but in Ireland he is best known as being Irish. You are correct to say that I also amended the entry for John Lydon (also best known in Ireland as being Irish, and the holder of an Irish passport), and if I had the time and energy I'd do the same for many others. I'm an anti-imperialist (not a nationalist), and think it useful to take issue with a certain kind of English chauvinism whereby people whose nationality is open to question or not clear-cut are routinely claimed as English without qualification because they can bring credit to the British nation (people falling into the same category are usually disowned when they might discredit the British nation). I think Wikipedia should not seek to simplify the issue of nationality but present all the relevant information, which in this case would entail not deleting my edit to the effect that he is second-generation Irish – perhaps it should say he is a second-generation-Irish British citizen (assuming this is true – i.e. he is a British citizen). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Daoipal1930s (talkcontribs) 17:24, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Can you provide some references (I.e. Third party sources ) which say that George is Irish? That's where you need to start. CalzGuy (talk) 17:44, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
There's little point to your claims if you don't provide references. That's the good thing about good references, they put an end to debate with hard facts. Please demonstrate that George's nationality is "open to question" and that he primarily identifies as Irish. (And please note I say "primarily". Muddying the issue with an identity of "second generation", "Irish-English", "Anglo-Irish", "Irish\English" or "English with Irish roots" is not simplifying things.) Otherwise I'd say that describing a person born in England, brought up in England, with an English accent, as "English" is not anything controversial (a million miles from "English chauvinism"). And I'm sure plenty of sources can be found that agree. On the other hand, finding sources that describe him as Irish... --Escape Orbit (Talk) 17:53, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
Where's the reference to show Boy George is English? Just because he SEEMS to be English is not a particularly convincing basis for the repeated assertions by Wikipedia editors that HE is English. I was born in Germany and speak with an English accent. What am I? Irish. My parents were Irish, I lived a number of years in Germany and England, and now live in Ireland. I have an Irish passport. A number of my siblings were born in Ireland, but a number live in England and have never lived in Ireland, yet consider themselves to be Irish and have Irish passports. I am second-generation Irish. As is Boy George. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Daoipal1930s (talkcontribs) 12:03, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Daoipal - I too am Irish, and my kids are despite not being born in Ireland. They had Irish passports nearly from birth. But they're quite free to declare themselves English if they want to. If one of them was sufficiently notable to warrant a Wikipedia article, it would be quite legitimate for an editor to describe them as English or British, because the public record would be they were born in England. BG was born in Bexley. There is no dispute about that. Therefore it is safe to assert, until evidence to the contrary is produced, that he is English or British. But if you can produce evidence that he asserts his nationality as Irish then there may well be a case for changing. But frankly, I don't think such evidence exists. There are lots of interviews with him discussing his Irish heritage but in none that I have read does he claim or assert Irish nationality. He has an affinity for Ireland and the Irish, but so has Jack Charlton. You need evidence.
PS can you please indent your responses using the colon character : and sign them using 4 tilde characters ~. Thanks CalzGuy (talk) 12:29, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
A few possible cites as to his nationality;
It's not something that's often said in sources, probably because it's obvious. --Escape Orbit (Talk) 18:38, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
My sympathies. Someone (a so-called editor) also deleted the fact Gemma Chan is a British-born Chinese from her Wiki article, and called her an English actress. She definitely looks Chinese and not English. There are some bastards in England who are happy to claim successful people as their own. (talk) 01:40, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

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