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Joan Jett | Joan Jett Sent Letter Of Support To Transgender Rocker Laura Jane Grace | Contactmusic.com
Rocker Joan Jett reached out to Laura Jane Grace after the Against Me! singer came out as transgender in a bid to show her support as she transitioned through a difficult time.
The official stance of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival indicates that the Festival is open only to cisgender women and that transgender women are not officially allowed on the grounds as volunteers or attendees. This is in accordance with a long-standing policy of exclusion that founder and producer Lisa Vogel confirmed as recently as 2006.
Although in the past some of the staff has “looked the other way,” the policy against trans women that is in place has cultivated a climate of transphobia at the Festival. This situation is unwelcoming and unsafe for transgender women and has become a divisive influence on feminist communities, both at Fest and around the US. The reality is that Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival is not safe for any women until it is welcoming for all women.
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Don’t expect all of the industry to embrace gay rappers, predicts Snoop Lion (formerly known as Snoop Dogg). Snoop has said he supports marriage equality, but he told The Guardian that much of the rap world remains unwelcoming to gay people and isn’t likely to change.
“Frank Ocean ain’t no rapper. He’s a singer,” Snoop said about the coming out of the Odd Future frontman turned Grammy-winning solo artist. “It’s acceptable in the singing world, but in the rap world I don’t know if it will ever be acceptable because rap is so masculine.”
In the interview with the British newspaper, Snoop compared the state of rap to the NFL.
“It’s like a football team,” he said. “You can’t be in a locker room full of motherfucking tough-ass dudes, then all of a sudden say, ‘Hey, man, I like you.’ You know, that’s going to be tough.”
Over a decade has passed since Eve teamed up with Gwen Stefani to blow our minds. Now one of the most celebrated female MCs in hip-hop is back with a new partner in crime and a fresh music video with an uplifting message. Featuring Cobra Starship front man Gabe Saporta, “Make It Out This Town” is Eve’s latest single from her long-awaited new album,Lip Lock, due out May 14.
The track’s music video features storylines of young men and women overcoming adversity — a topic close to Eve’s heart. As a celebrity ambassador for Big Brothers and Sisters, Eve crafted her inspirational anthem of beating the odds with young people in mind. “This song is dedicated to them,” she stated in a press release.
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Back in the late ‘80s Michelle Shocked wrote and sang songs about female empowerment, endearing her to an entire generation of lesbians before k.d. Lang, Melissa Etheridge or The Indigo Girls came out. Her classic “Anchorage” from Short, Sharp Shocked, told the story of two women — one who broke free from domesticity to pursue her dreams as a “skateboard punk rocker” and one who embraced marriage and motherhood. It was heady, thoughtful songwriting for the time.
Fast-forward to last night at a show in San Francisco where Shocked purposefully and blatantly alienated and offended her audience. “You can go on Twitter and say ‘Michelle Shocked says God hates fags,” she said to cap off an anti-gay tirade at club Yoshi’s, according to MEOW.com (Musicians for Equal Opportunities for Women). Audience members stormed out after the tirade and the club shut the show down, SFist.com reported.
“I live in fear that the world will be destroyed if gays are allowed to marry,” Shocked told a jaw-dropped audience, according to SFist.
Shocked’s first set went without incident, but the second set appeared primed for her to deliver her hateful message, at least according to Christine Penfield, who’s husband Matt volunteered to live tweet the show from backstage for Shocked.
“In retrospect [it] seemed clear that she designed the show to deliver this message,” Christine Penfield Tweeted.
Other audience members also took to Twitter to express outrage at Shocked’s epithets.
Responding to the outrage Shocked Tweeted, “Truth is leading to painful confrontation.”
Shocked, a member of the Pentecostal West Los Angeles Church of God, has identified as an anarchist, fighting the establishment, for decades, even being arrested as recently as 2011 at an Occupy L.A. protest, according toSFist. Born into a fundamentalist Mormon family in Dallas, lesbian rumors dogged Shocked for the early part of her career, although she was married to journalist Bart Bull for 11 years.
A 2008 interview with The Dallas Observer touched on the old lesbian rumors, and Shocked delivered a response that was a far cry from last night’s hateful rant. Here’s what she told the Observer when asked about homosexuality:
“In his time, Jesus was hanging out with the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the lepers, all the people that proper society had banished or had determined were underclass. Today, it is easy for me to imagine that Jesus would hang around those who have been scorned, abandoned and neglected. We live in a homophobic society. But homosexuals are a group of folks who Jesus would recognize. Jesus even says that he didn’t come here to be righteous. He came here for those who needed salvation.”
The San Antonio rock trio Girl in a Coma recently played the famed lesbian bar Sue Ellen’s on after two earlier shows in Corpus Christi and Austin. But they’re not the only lesbian band in Texas, you know. In fact, if you took a look at last year’s South by Southwest music lineup, you would have found five lesbian musicians all homegrown in the Lone Star State. As their collective stars rise nationwide and notoriety increases, Texans can take pride that such phenomenal talent first shone in their own backyard.
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World-renowned classical pianist and Cold War envoy Van Cliburn died Wednesday after a battle with bone cancer. The American-born pianist was 78. Cliburn became an international sensation after he won first place at the 1958 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, a literal and symbolic victory during the a time when the space race and the Cold War were accelerating tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
An exhaustive obituary in The New York Times says Cliburn was “discreet in his homosexuality,” and also mentions that Cliburn is survived by Thomas L. Smith, “with whom he shared his home for many years.”
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BY ANDREW VILLAGOMEZ
Photo Credit: National Portrait Gallery, London
London’s electric, indie band Fiction is releasing its debut album, The Big Other, this March, and the final track, “The Apple,” pays a modern musical homage to Alan Turing—whose tragic demise inspired band member Mike Barrett to write the song. “‘It’s one of the oldest songs on the album and has always been a favorite to play live,” Barrett explained. Turing was a brilliant UK mathematician during the 1930s-1950s, who was found guilty of “gross indecency” with another man back when British law condemned homosexual activity. He was given the difficult choice between being sent to prison or chemical castration. “He chose the latter and was forced to take female growth hormones, which inevitably had a grave effect on his body and mind,” Barrett explained. “When he died two years later from cyanide poisoning, a half eaten apple was found next to his bed. Some suspect his suicide was a recreation of a scene from his favorite fairytale, SnowWhite.”
Barrett shared that he first learned about Turing from reading his work on algorithms and his contribution at Bletchley Park—which during the WWII was the site of the UK’s main decryption establishment, the Government Code and Cypher School. “[I] subsequently read about his trial, and the circumstances of his death came as a bit of a surprise… Here’s a genius—a man that arguably invented the computer, who made a priceless contribution to defeating the Nazis—put on trial for his sexuality. Of course, countless others were tried in the UK, and continue to be around the world, but Turing’s story illustrated to me so graphically the sheer absurdity of prejudice, and ‘The Apple’ is a small attempt at understanding his personal torment at that time.”
Barrett went on to explain: “It seems ironic that, in a country so scientifically advanced, the law that kept homosexuality a crime until the late 1960s served to ruin the life of one of Britain’s best scientific minds. Even today, as a bill legalizing gay marriage is passed through Parliament, we see half the government in uproar, talking in sound bytes about marriage being ‘between a man and a woman’. I’m generally more into women than men—and I’m not particularly inclined to get married yet!—but, like Turing’s story, it reminded me that for all [Western Europe’s] social progress, small-minded conservatism still exists and should be exposed as such wherever possible, whatever your sexuality.”
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Music great Clive Davis, who discovered some of the biggest names in the business, talks for the first time about being bisexual in his new memoir. In the book, The Soundtrack of My Life, Davis reveals that he’s been in a relationship with a man for the last seven years, according to Entertainment Weekly. “Do I feel I could have been similarly attracted to a woman?” Davis writes. “The answer is yes.”
According to USA Today, Davis writes that his sexual orientation is “something that my children and close friends have always known.” “Bisexuality is misunderstood; the adage is that you’re either straight or gay or lying, but that’s not my experience,” he writes, according to USA Today. “To call me anything other than bisexual would be inaccurate.”
Davis, who is now 80, recalls his first experience with a man who he met at New York’s famous club, Studio 54, some 30 years ago. “Was I nervous?” writes Davis, according to Entertainment Weekly. “Absolutely. Did the heavens open up? No. But it was satisfying.” Davis is famous for finding big talent, most notably his discovery of Whitney Houston while she was still a teenager. He founded Arista and J Records and he’s now chief creative officer for Sony Music.
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TW: gratuitous use of gay slur/Azealia Banks Promotes New Video, Suddenly Can't Stop Using Antigay Slur
Bisexual rapper Azealia Banks has released a new song and music video and is once again creatingheadlines for calling people “faggot.” Banks created a remix of the current viral sensation, “Harlem Shake,” without permission from the artist who created it, Baauer. He doesn’t like that she raps over the beat. They got into a Twitter feud that included her conclusion: “you guys are all faggoots…. May you drown in faggotry.”
The last time bisexual rapper used a gay slur on Twitter to attack out gossip blogger Perez Hilton, she got a stern lecture from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and a rash of backlash in tweets from fans. Then her album sales went up by 18%, according to figures from Billboard. “I Guess I’m the first Homophobic Homo,” Banks chided people on Twitter, included Hilton, who jumped into the fray.
Then Banks tried to explain her use of the word as forward-thinking, instead of backward. “Here we go again. Everyone pretending to be so shocked and moved by the word faggot,” she wrote. “It’s like society is so bored with itself it needs to hold on to these outdated rules of what you can say and cannot say. Why has society accepted ‘nigger’ As a colloquialism … But will not accept “faggot”? Everyones always acting like its fucking 1905 in this bitch.”
That quote is unedited and comes from a string of tweets. Then she mocked Baauer and anyone else bothered by her use of the antigay slur. “Faggot means coward, liar, backstabber……,” she wrote. “Perez tries to get every gay person all riled up when the only faggot I see …….. is him. what a baby lololol.. Waaaaaaah Azealia called me a faggott :(((((((((( LMAOOO”
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Jimbeau Hinson found success in Nashville in the 1990s, writing songs for artists such as Patty Loveless and the Oak Ridge Boys. But at the height of his career in the mid ’90s, Hinson’s HIV, which he was keeping secret, caught up with him and he fell into a coma. His status as an HIV-positive man—he came out as bisexual in the ’70s—was revealed to the country music industry. But instead of turning their backs on him, Hinson’s peers embraced him, and the songwriter’s health slowly improved. Hinson, who’s been with his wife, Brenda, for over 33 years, recently released his debut album, Strong Medicine, which chronicles his relationship not just with his wife but also with HIV.
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