Cisgendered straight person that he is, young Mick Jagger still enjoyed a reputation for being androgynous.
Amazingly. This photograph is from 1966. Few other rock bands flirted with androgyny or cross-dressing until the advent of Glam Rock five years later.
Rolling Stones were dressed as WW II British army nurses for the envelope photograph that accompanied their single Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing in the Shadow?. Peter Whitehead’s promotional film for the single was one of the first music videos. The song was only released as a single, but it appears on Greatest Hits compilations and was recorded for the Rolling Stones live album Got Live If You Want It!.
In 1967, the video for We Love You, made shortly after Jagger’s trial for marijuana possession, shows Jagger dressed as Oscar Wilde and Marianne Faithful as Alfred Lord Douglas in a parody of Wilde’s trial for ”gross indecency”.
Rolling Stone’s 1969 single, Honky Tonk Women has long been thought as being about a drag queen: ”a gin-soaked barroom queen in Memphis’ heaves him right across her shoulder… she blew my nose and then she blew my mind”.
The term androgyny has also been used about his persona the film Performance (1970), which has Jagger as a retired rock-and-roll singer who initiates an on-the-run gangster into the ways of androgyny and fusions of gender and identity. At the end, the identities of both men are totally confused. Which one has been killed? Which one is dragged away by gangsters? There is that bit where the gangster is in bed with one of Jagger’s girls, and with a bit of tricky editing, it is Jagger himself rather than a girl.
There is also Jagger in the 1997 film version of Martin Sherman’s play Bent, a surreal look at Berlin’s gay nightlife just as Nazis begin viciously cracking down on queers. In a sprawling nightclub that is part circus, part drug den, part warehouse, elegant gay men cruise one other, snort cocaine and have public sex in the club’s dimmer recesses. Presiding over the scene is the club’s owner, Jagger as Greta, a gaunt, famished-looking queen. Jagger resembles Diana Vreeland in this one.