Singer and AIDS activist Annie Lennox has said that she believes sexual orientation is “nobody's effing business.”

The 59-year-old Lennox returns next month with her first album in four years. The two-disc Nostalgia arrives October 21, while a vinyl version ships next week.

In speaking to Michigan gay weekly Pride Source, Lennox was asked, “What do you attribute to the loyalty of your gay fan base?”

“You see, that's a question you have to ask the people that you're describing. I can't answer for the gay community. I truly can't. I just make music, and I have no idea who is going to listen to it. I'm just the person that I am,” Lennox responded.

“When I was given this label of 'gender bender,' I really felt it was diminishing in a way. It was very simplistic. I wasn't bending gender; I was making a statement in a kind of subtle way. I thought it was subtle, but to some people it might have seemed overt. I was saying, 'Look, as a woman I can be equal to a man,' and in this partnership with the Eurythmics, where I was in a partnership with a man (Dave Stewart), the two of us felt so connected that my gender didn't matter. In a funny sort of way, ultimately I was coming out to say, 'Look, I'm not going to be what you think I am. I'm intelligent. I'm not a dancing doll just because I'm female and I'm singing. I'm not singing for your pleasurable entertainment. It's not about that. It's cerebral and it's heartfelt and it's intelligent.'”

“This is something I've been saying to a lot of my gay compadres: One day we'll get rid of this word 'gay,' because it's irrelevant. Of course it's terribly relevant when you are trying to create a campaign. During a human rights movement, it's terribly important to have labels and to have platforms that are very identifiable, but ultimately we should just be fine with everybody no matter what our sexual orientation is. It's nobody's effing business.”

She also called increasing support for gay rights “extraordinary” but warned it “won't just be heaven on a stick.”

“If you think about it, it's really not that long since people were in the closet about gay rights. It's been extraordinary. I think that it's accelerating in the west. I think that things are changing radically, and some things – many things – for the good. Other things I think will be challenging for people because now we have a whole new paradigm and it's complex, as human beings are. There will be upsides and there will be downsides, and it won't just be heaven on a stick,” she said.

I Put a Spell on You, the first single off of Nostalgia, arrived last week.