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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2002 5:21 pm 
Hi everyone, I am feeling kinda upset over some information I just received and felt like you would all understand, so I apologise for my little rant in advance.....lol

My partner and I work in the music industry in Australia. We play in a rock band, as well as running our own recording studio.

The band is an all female band and that fact we are all girls in a male dominated industry is a big selling point for us. Our audiences generally like to see women performers and are very encouraging.

We have worked very hard over the years to build up our business to a point where we are working so much in our band that we now have to knock back work, we have many residencies in local venues and have been quite successful as entertainers. We have done all this ourselves, without the assistance of the 2 main booking agents in our city.

Now I get to the rant part........lol

I was just speaking to our vocalist (who is straight, btw) and she bumped into one of these agents last night. Now this particular agent has refused to give us work, he told me that we just weren't suitable for any of his venues, etc. which I knew was crap since we have such a large following in all the venues we work in. So last night he tells our vocalist that the reason he has never booked us is because we are gay!!!! I can't believe he actually admitted it. Anyways he said that if a venue wants to book us it is his responsibility to tell them that we are a gay band and would have a gay following, which is totally ridiculous and totally discriminatory.

The fact is people really like us because of the music we play and they tell us they like seeing women up there performing. The sad fact is that my partner and I have always had to be very discreet about our relationship when it comes to work anyways because of the homophobia that stills exists in this country. In fact, no one has ever even commented to us or asked us if we are gay. Our singer gets asked all the time, probably cos she has really short hair (stupid stereotyping), the irony being that she is the only one who isn't gay and she has short hair beacuse she has had cancer and lost her hair through chemotherapy.

So as you can all imagine, I am pretty pissed off about this. This jerk is denying us the right to play in certain venues purely because we are gay and he is obviously homophobic. This isn't the first time this has happened to us, and I'm sure it won't be the last either, but I'm not sure what to do about it. This is where you guys come in......lol. It would be great to get some feedback from people who have gone through this kinda stuff before. I feel like ringing him up and abusing him, but of course that is pointless. I could report him to the anti-discrimination board, but that could cause a lot of other problems, all these venues and agents stick together, so we could even lose more work. Obviously we need to make a living, and working in a rock band is how we derive our income, so we have to be very careful, which is ridiculous in its self.

I just feel very sad that here we are in the year 2002 and I am still be discriminated against beacuse I am in love with another woman. What the hell does that have to do with my work as a musician..........NOTHING!!!

Anyways, sorry for the rant everyone, but I know you will all understand and hopefully have some advice.

Thanks for listening to me,

Sal



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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2002 5:41 pm 
I don't think there's anything you can do. These types of people won't respond to reason, especially from you. The thing about prejudice is that it is so deeply ingrained in some people that the only way to get rid of it is to stop it before it starts. Also, having non-prejudiced people in positions of power would help, but I don't think there's much you can do about that 'cept maybe vote for me in 30 years.


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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2002 10:55 pm 
After ten years in the music biz, all I can add is hey, join the club.
Probably one of the worst careers to be in: more politics than, well, politics. I'm a straight male in a female/male duo. I don't know what it's like to be in your position (obviously), but I can definitely sympathize. The industry is pretty much terrible to everyone, but especially women. My partner has been propositioned by promoters a few times - and it was pretty clear that if she put out, we'd get work. From other colleagues'stories this seems to be the norm - and I'm not just talking about women. A gay male musician friend has the same kinds of problems. The thing is that the men are in control (at least where I live) - and sex is the most common ticket to another gig. So I guess I can just say that it sucks to go through this shit. But we have the music to get us by. And it kicks ass to make even a crappy living by doing it. I hope that things start working better for ya! Much love


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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2002 1:26 am 
Like everyone else, I do heartily sympathise. Being a musician too, I have been made aware of the conservatism in our industry. I've seen what it's like for female bands, or at least females who play certain instruments that don't conform to certain male's stereotypes. It's all utter, utter bollocks. But it's not just the promoters/club owners/executives, etc: It's also a large number of musicians, too. God, I have known some types in my time. Although I am aware of the "ant farting in a thunderstorm" effect this will have, probably, but I often feel compelled to shout and scream and jump up and down about this sort of thing. It's so difficult, because if you piss off the wrong person, then it can make a hard living almost impossible (although, that never seems to stop some in their bid to be crass idiot of the year). I just can't understand how someone can feel they have the right to mess around with someone's livelyhood like that, not to mention their feelings, heaven forbid

I have been a little concerened sometimes about the content of some of my songs. Some are a bit unflinching, and a few have gay content, and so forth. I know that this will give some people a problem. But, I don't see why I should be compromised just to suit someone else's misguided sensibilities. I'll write and sing about whatever the Hell I want.

I don't know what I'm saying here. I don't know of an easy solution. And I know I've been slapped on here before, for just saying "there's nothing you can do; just ignore it", and you know, I am inclined to believe that, having seen the sort of things that go on - especially the sort of things that have been related on this board - I don't see why we should just passively get on with it; we're only hurting us, most of the time. Why should we have to live in a world that only ever gives the mouthpiece to ignorant feckers? Ours is a culture of stereotypes and cliche. Oooh, it's angry song time!

------------------
I am the sunlight on the sides of houses.



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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2002 11:16 am 
the only advice i have for you is to rememeber that people suck.

and no matter what year we're in... there will *always* be discrimination.

i wish it was different, but it's not.

there are sucky people in the world who won't give anybody a chance unless they're exactly the same as everyone else. there are sucky people in the world who think that it's fair for people to be judged on account of what they look like... how they dress... who they fall in love with. there are sucky people in the world who will never ever change their minds about what is "right" or "wrong" in society. and their are sucky people in the world who actually think that they're providing some kind of service to the public by keeping the "weirdoes" out of the way.

luckily, there are also people who are not like this.

for every one sucky person, there are at least 5 wonderful people who are willing to give anybody a chance - regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation. at least 5 wonderful people who know that it is not fair to judge people on account of things that they do not understand. 5 wonderful people who will be lining up to give you work just because you're a talented band who play good music.

my advice is to forget the sucky people... and concentrate on finding the wonderful ones.

i apologise for the rant. i'm having a bad day... and discrimination sucks more every day.

------------------
"if you throw a stone, something's gonna shatter somewhere. We're all so fragile, we're all so scared."
Convention review site



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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2002 9:52 pm 
I can only imagine how pissed you must be. I'm so sorry about it, but unfortunately there's really nothing that we can do about it. I have been victim to homophobia too and I know that it sucks. Its like every time you feel like the world is finally changing and becoming more accepting, something like this happens. I'm sorry about that sweetie.


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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2002 10:23 pm 
Your situation really moved me. I too am a musician and a gay one at that. I've only ever felt discriminated against (musically at any rate) when I did indeed have short hair. And it was very apparent that it was assumed I was and a reason I wasn't chosen over the others. If only I were a cornflake girl, or at least fitting some sort of mold. But i'd only want to be in that mold long enough to do something from the inside out. Like when adam got all the demons inside of the initative (ok i realize that's a stretch) but at any rate I think it's important to stay true to you. You're the one you go home to and the one that looks back at you in the mirror. I say this to you but also as a reminder to myself. I wish you the best and do hope for amazing social growth. I certainly like the idea of finding those good people. I feel on a quest for them myself. Rock on!

------------------
you walk through my walls like a a ghost on tv you penetrate me
and my little pink heart is on its little brown raft floating out to see
what can i say but i'm wired this way and you're wired to me
and what can i do but wallow in you unintentionally
what kind of paradise am i looking for
i've got everything i want still i want more



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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2002 1:39 am 
Oh Goddess, that sort of thing makes me s mad. All I can say is, don't give up and don't back down. Homophobia is their problem, not yours. Like you said, it's the 21st Century and these stupid, out-moded attitudes should be behind us - they're not yet, but we have to keep the faith.

Blessed be,

Kaite

------------------
''We HAVE to kill some cooler people'' - Sunday the cute vampire

''Those of you who fall into my good graces will come to know me as Maggie. Those of you who don't will know me by the name my T.A's use and think I don't know about: The Evil Bitch Monster of Death''. - Maggie Walsh



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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2002 10:47 am 
Sal, I want to say two things to you.

First, go ahead and be angry. Nurture it. Cherish it. Use it. It can and will fuel the energy that makes us improve the world because we as human beings say This we will NOT endure any longer! Without your rage (and mine, and millions of others') then change doesn't happen. And that is death. As an artist I'm sure that process is one you've known before and will again. With every note, each song, every single performance you help create a better future--and that rage is one of the ways you do it!

Second, sometimes for your own peace of mind, forgive people their foolishness, which is often its own punishment. They are missing out on sooooooooooooo much life has to offer, and probably deserve your pity. Besides, they're fighting a losing battle. Time, and change, continues. And we who embrace that fact do much to shape it.

------------------
"O let my name be in the Book of Love.
If it be there, I care not of
That other book Above...
Strike it out! Or write it in anew.
But let it be in the Book of Love!"
--Omar Kyam



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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2002 5:47 pm 
I don't know if it's really worth "fighting" the idiot on this or if it might be simpler to just do really well for other venues and let him and his clients(?) miss out on your talent. Of course the circumstances might make it difficult for you to do as well in the other venues as you could do in the ones you are being unfairly excluded from by one idiot in a postion of too much power, so maybe it is worth trying to change things.

There might be a way you could overcome his ignorance. He's supposed to be making a business decision on the basis of what will sell tickets (etc), so show him that his decision is flawed in a business sense. For example if your "following" is fairly "mainstream" or general and not particularly limited to a "primarily gay" audience, it might help change his stance if you had some evidence to back that up (disprove his assumption). If you play anywhere with a significant audience (the bigger the better, but take what you can get) which is not venue-selected to be primarily "gay" (eg, gay clubs would slant the numbers and appear to "prove" his assumption) see if you can collect an anonymous questionnaire to get empirical data on your natural "audience". You want to poll an audience that came specifically to see your group perform (as opposed to came to a club they liked and you happened to be performing that night), but you might also be able to work with a general audience that didn't specifically come to see you (helps if you're the only band that night though). The questionnaire might include questions like "Are you... M/F", "Do you consider yourself LBGT? Y/N" (but maybe word it better), "Overall how much do you like (your band), with 5 being highest? 1 2 3 4 5" (additional separate questions for performance and lyric content). And so on. Compile the results and hopefully it'll give you some leverage to show that a general audience seeks you out and likes your music (ie. would buy tickets to a concert, etc).

You can email me if you want to discuss this idea further (click the zooming envelope icon at the top of this post to get my address). I might miss posts on the thread if I get too busy to check in.

The other idea I had (you can always do both) is to ridicule or poke-fun-at or simply publicise the basic problem in song. You probably don't want to name the person or anything specific (might backfire), but perhaps the general problem could inspire a tale of someone in a parallel situation (maybe for being gay, maybe for something else). Maybe have the ignorant discriminator(s) lose out in the end as their competitors (or story parallel) find the "risk" was well worth it in the end. Maybe intead of just one person/group the story could rely on numbers of people/groups (how many "gay" bands has this idiot turned away over the years) and maybe one of the groups (the heroes, ie your band) goes on to be successful elsewhere and puts the discriminator out of business (or something like that, maybe he gets relegated to booking the smaller venues where only uptight ignorant tight-ass homophobes go to see the cookie-cutter bands they like, or whatever parallel is appropriate to the story). Anyway, something like that but whatever you're inspired to come up with.

It's more of a subtle long term thing, but it might give you more immediate personal satisfaction to express yourself even if nothing immediately comes of it. It's probably not the sort of thing you'd want to toss off quickly, either; if you like the idea spend time considering the best approach and working on the song. You want something that'll last and be popular and will continue to work as an anti-discrimination message in general. That's how you help change things in the long run.



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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2002 1:42 pm 
Consider my ass officially chapped. I hate it when I hear things like this still happen in the music (or any) business. I was a press/publicity/promo person for a few record labels before I finally grew tired of all of the crap women (straight or gay) seem to get in this business and the increasing lack of focus on music in general (you know, when you have the music meeting where you have a lot of really quality releases and they tell you to forget about those because this really crappy record has a better chance at selling than those do.).
(take deep breaths now - try to say something productive, please....)

Perhaps rather than start this particular war yourself, you can call attention to it (and yourselves, your large following, etc.) by using the situation to garner some much needed attention to the problem. Do you have any friends in the press? Preferably ones that are sympathetic to your situation, but even if they aren't, most news and music press folks like to hitch themselves to stories such as this, since they incite big emotions in readers. Or find someone willing to do an editorial. Perhaps they don't need to mention names, if you're really concerned about losing bookings, just have them highlight the story. I'm betting most of the people that need to know will be able to put two and two together, and you stay out of potential legal issues that would come with mentioning the club owner/promoters name.

Good luck, and I'd be interested in hearing how it all turns out.

------------------
Kim

[This message has been edited by sisterofmercy (edited March 08, 2002).]



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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2002 1:45 pm 
Can I just say that I hate homophobia? I hate it when it's inverted. When it's subversive. When it comes from someone you trust.

Thanks.

------------------
No metaphors...just fucking.



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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2002 11:06 pm 
well, it's true... homophobic people are so "grrrrrr" -- there are no politically correct way to describe them!!!!

anyway, there's really not much of a thing we can do about them,they probably hve been that way since the beginning of time and it will be a futile act to even try explaining it to them, so, we better to just go on with our lives knowing that there's nothing wrong with us, rather there's something wrong with them...

and i, too, had a band before i went off to college... i can't imagine how i'd deal with people who'd shun us if they knew i was gay... heck... good thing i'm not iwth my band anymore (i guess... though i really miss it/them).


BUT

when things really get out of hand, you can always ask: "hey, did it hurt when they had to surgically remove your brain from your skull and trasplant it in your ass?" --- works all the time to shut them up!

------------------
"deep down i was glad,
it was cold for a while,
i was keeping you warm,
i was secretly loving you."
-j. pintauro

[This message has been edited by alexis_18 (edited March 25, 2002).]



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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2002 12:07 am 
Bloody Hell, that does suck! I'm sorry thats happening to you all. I manage and book a band of guys and we once didn't get a gig because their all straight. I have to say it sucks all the way around. Homophobia is rampant and there really isn't anything to do except, succeed despite assholes. My personal motto is fuck 'em if they don't like it.

------------------
Sugarloaf
"Due to the recent presidential elections, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off."



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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2002 12:21 am 
I'm reminded of what Garrison Keillor said about Jesse Helms making a name for himself as an opponent of public arts funding: making enemies of people with the ability to immortalize you with all kinds of unflattering images is just plain dumb.

I was in an all-women blues band for a few years in the late 80's. We played around the Bay Area and seldom had any problems with the clubs we played in, but there was one owner who made a point of letting us know that we'd never play in his place because he didn't think women could play the blues. Our lead singer wrote a tongue-in-cheek song called "Women can't play the blues" and we dedicated it to that club owner at every gig.

[This message has been edited by fell (edited March 24, 2002).]



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 Post subject: rant about homophobia
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2002 6:03 am 
Hiya.

You know, we here in Germany will have elections this year.
During the current legislational period it was made law that couples of the same gender can marry and have - nearly - the same rights as "normal" couples have. A big leap for our country.

But, as i said, we have elections this year... and a quote from the chancellor candidate from the conservative CDU/CSU just plainly admitted that he considered homosexual relationship the work of the Devil. That must be why his party is named the Christian Social Union... And even worse... he may win.

Fran

Edited to correct a mistake.

[This message has been edited by Fran_Spice (edited March 24, 2002).]



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