Hmmmm. We don’t know about you, but asking for “the right to kiss openly”? Sounds pretty gay to us!Also, the song uses no gendered pronouns or other gendered identifiers for Rodgers’ love interest, which was unusual for love songs of the era.
Regardless of Rodgers’ specific intention for the song, it certainly speaks to the idea of fighting the status quo, a contrast to the conservatism of the ‘50s.
Nonetheless, the song was a hit, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.Some folks have interpreted the song as being about an interracial relationship, given that interracial marriage wasn’t legal in all U.S.
states until 1967. That’s the beauty of “Secretly”: it speaks to all the hidden relationships of the ‘50s that deserved to see the light of day.