12:35 AM on 08/15/06
I had a few problems with a few of your interview questions.
"It's safe to say homosexuals are constantly fighting to feel a part of "normal" society, don't you feel starting a website like Queerpunks.com only helps to divide and segregate the homosexual community from the rest of society?"
Let's be realistic. Do you really think that the gay community needs any assistance from the straight community in being ostracized from middle America, especially by a website? We really are one of the last minorities that continue to be segregated and profiled negatively by the heterosexual majority. Are you unaware of the lack of resources available for queer youth? While the punk/emo/hardcore community tends to be activist's in certain areas ie. "Ska Against Racism," it's been rather rare that I have gone to a show with what one might consider to be "punk" band that really makes me comfortable and safe being queer in a VERY straight environment. To be absolutely honest, I have felt more comfortable at a Five Iron Frenzy (Christian Ska) and a Black Eyed Peas concert, then I have at, for example, a Glassjaw show. Five Iron Frenzy has a song dedicated to Freddie Mercury that advocates against homophobia and they apologize for their homophobic behavior and advocated for their fans to act in a supportive manner and Will.I.Am urged a crowd at a Chicago show to fight and vote for same-sex marriage. Most punk rock shows I have been to tend revolve around assinine comments from lead singers referring to their bandmates as "****" and other homophobic remarks instead of preaching tolerance in their music and to their audience.
A forum like Queerpunks is necessary in order for the queer community to feel comfortable in this scene. WE need a place to talk about things like this and to figure out if its really homophobic behavior or if we should just chalk it up to the sort of immaturity that we all came to expect from acts like "blink182." Personally, I don't feel like shelling out 45 dollars for a t-shirt for a band that is going to support limiting my rights. And do you really think that discussion is possible in a forum that does not specifically target itself to queer youth?
"Would you be upset if I made a website to communicate with straight people better?"
Are you kidding me? Seriously. The straight world, specifically regarding networking sites, have a gross majority and disregard to the queer community. We have queerpunks.com and you have about 29292929101093 websites for yourself. If anything, we should be upset for constantly not being included in websites that could assist in providing outlets for 14 year old queer youths living in the bible belt with no one to talk to. Do you know what's it like searching through pages and pages of profiles trying to decode people's profiles because the website does not have a box to check for "gay," "lesbian" etc? Put yourself in those shoes and then ask another question about "straight" sites.
"But an effective way of getting people used to the GLBT of life is by subjecting them to it, whether it be by holding hands at shows, kissing in public, etc. Wouldn't creating a website strictly for homosexuals to communicate and connect, prevent the homosexual lifestyle from establishing itself in society? In other words, shouldn't bringing the community into the public eye be the main goal? Not bringing it into it's own community?"
Within the context of the "punk" community, this is not a simple task. I mean, do you think it would be a good idea to go to a "Hatebreed" show and to act in the same manner that a 16-year old straight couple would act? I think I would have better luck surviving at a Nascar rally in Texas with the same behavior. And honestly, when you go on MySpace, do you click on "gay" when you are looking for people? I doubt it. Again, all groups of people, especially minorities, need a place to discuss within their own contigent. We don't say go away and their definitely isn't a velvet rope, but we do say give us a safe place for ourselves.
"Do you think a role model-like band member would lose fans and hurt his image if he came out of the closet and admitted that he was homosexual?"
Freddie Mercury. The Scissor Sisters. Melissa Etheridge. The Lovemakers. Boy Sets Fire, Judas Priest, KD Lang, Pansy Division, Michael Stipe. The list goes on and on and one. All relatively successful.
To be honest, you need to step outside of the liberal bubble. I don't live in Chicago anymore but I do have memories of walking in Boystown and having things thrown at me and being screamed a "***" from people driving by in cars. I remember being smashed into lockers in high school. I remember feeling uncomfortable with my significant other at shows.
The rest of the world is not necessarily ready for the queer community. It will at some point. But, for now, we'll enjoy queerpunks.com with whomever wants to come, but it will need to be a safe space for queer youth first and foremost.