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Comment: Where are all the gay indie musicians?

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  1. you’d think Bloc Party would be worthy of a mention here.

  2. Monkeychops 19 Jun 2009, 2:46pm

    And Ocean Colour Scene

  3. there was skunk anansie, kubb and suede (to an extent)

  4. Good grief- there are loads and loas of gay indie musicians! Just as I am writing this lots are coming to mind. I think it is not as much of an issue so it isn’t really foregrounded in the same way as with pop musicians. When pop is marketed the personal life of the artist is given much more focus and with indie it is more about the music. But there are still loads of out LGBT men and women in alternative music from Joan Jett to Beth Ditto and Tom Robinson to Antony Hegarty.

  5. Well I’m gay, and I love playing heavy rock & metal guitar. I love listening to my heavy rock & metal bands as well, listening to the flavour of their music etc, especially the classics such as led zeppelin, deep purple (and subsequent Ritchie Blackmore material such as with Blackmore Nights), Iron Maiden and much more.

    It would be good to have some mordern heavy rock role-models. However, as far as post 1. is concerned, I’m afraid I draw the line at bloc-party! (not least because a teenager recently told me he thought bloc-party were ace, but that led zeppelin were over-rated! Sacrilege!).

    1. Rob Halford from Judas Priest came out in the 1990s, but I can’t think of any other gay musicians in metal bands.

  6. REM are probably as big as any indie act could get and Michel Stripe is gay though he never comments on his sexuality. The lead singer of Placebo is trans then you can look at groups like the Lemonheads.

  7. i would say Tegan and Sara are an indie band and they are both lesbians and pretty good.

  8. Brian Burton 19 Jun 2009, 4:38pm

    Sorry, I only like Classical Music…….Thats Classical music!

  9. “Where are all the gay indie musicians?”

    More to the point, do we really give a flying toss?
    There’s been virtually no decent music of note in the last 20 years, gay or straight.

  10. Bloc Party would deserve a mention, but there isn’t an openly gay member is there? The much publicised reluctance to be outed was grounded in a religious family background so perhaps the writer was respecting that decision?

    As for Mark Ronson, poor old Mick Ronson must be spinning in his grave, poor chap. I know its certainly happened to me that I’ve found myself refering to him as pop twit Mark Ronson, but Mick has made amazing records with chaps as provocative as David Bowie and Morrissey. Awesome records.

    I think its telling that Simon from OCS came out publicly because a tabloid was planning to run a story on it.

  11. maccoinnich 19 Jun 2009, 5:44pm

    Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu
    Chris Garneau
    Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields
    2 of the members of Dananananaykroyd, whose names I forget
    Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney
    Bob Mould and Grant Hart of Hüsker Dü
    Jón Þór Birgisson of Sigur Rós
    Sufjan Stevens (well, one can hope)

  12. Brian Burton 20 Jun 2009, 7:13am


    Your 49 year old opinion do’nt count mate now dos’e it?

  13. theotherone 20 Jun 2009, 12:54pm

    Michel Stipe DID say he was Queer. What is that not good enough for you? So you’re ‘Gay’ but you don’t ‘do’ Queer. To describe himself in this way is shows he’s a-l-o-t more radical than that twit (for instance) from OCS.

    Antony Hegerty? ‘He’ betrayed the woman he took ‘his’ band name from and alot of ‘his’ early fans by colapsing his identity to ‘gay.’ Give me Freddie Mercury any day – totaly fvck1ng Queer – or Bob Mold or Baby Dee or David Tibet (well I don’t think he’s said as such but the Soft Black Stars album is an elegent version of coming out.)

  14. Um… Would Ricky Martin be classed as “indie”? ;)

  15. Dear Nell – Do some research next time . . . Love Us x

  16. Dear Nell – Next time do some actaul research – Love, Us x

  17. Don’t forget Peaches, and JD Samson from Le Tigre.

  18. Don’t forget Peaches and JD Samson from Le Tigre.

  19. theotherone 21 Jun 2009, 11:54am

    and tony: the joy that was Bikini Kill (pre Le Tigre) or even that old pandroginis wonder Genesis Bryer P. Orrage from Throbbing Gristle/ Psychic TV. Indeed a recent Psychic TV album foregrounded gender non conformity.

  20. I think that Jay Brannan sums it up really nicely: while he’s a homo, his gayness isn’t the most important part of him because there are so many other elements to his personality that are more interesting that his sexuality e.g. his MUSIC. Why is there is such a need to ‘own’ public people’s sexuality? We constantly single out famous individuals as being gay, desperately attempting to label them part of the ‘community’ to satiate our sense of anxiety about where we sit in the world: “Oh, they’re FAMOUS AND POPULAR and society ‘approves’ of them, and now that I know they’re gay too, it makes me feel so much more comfortable about myself!” Wouldn’t it be a little better if we were to stop invading people’s personal lives and just take their art at face value? Who cares if they’re gay. We need to foster a greater sense of true individuality and bravery, hopefully supporting a whole generation of people who are comfortable to BE THEMSELVES, totally at ease in the world and at ease with each other, no matter if they are heterosexual or homosexual.

  21. SteveDenver 21 Jun 2009, 4:06pm

    I like the article, but there’s a problem from the opening paragraph:
    None of these guys was out or came out at the get-go. Even Elton was reluctantly “bisexual” (who didn’t sleep with women) for years. Gately was outed. Mercury came out later, but played coy for many years.

  22. Ryan Haynes 21 Jun 2009, 4:39pm

    Well FYi RADiO only finds Indie queer alt artists to perform. Check the music out – with live acoustic sessions on every broadcast from The Edge in Soho Square last Tuesday of every month.

    The next brings six indie artists into the limelight

  23. theotherone 21 Jun 2009, 7:01pm


    if the public acepts them then if they come out it’s not for the benefit of others to feal better about ourselfs but for Hetros to feal better about us.

    Oh and it’s usefull to have roll models when you’re a kid and it’s nice to not have people publicaly denieing their sexuality. If it’s not that much of an issue then why denie it? Is it because the public might not buy the records?

    The war is not, as you feal, over – it’s only just begun.

  24. Patrick wolf. Yum.
    Also cocorosie are pretty sexually ambiguous.
    And don’t slabber about anthony hegarty, its much more important he stays true to himself and “collapses” an identity than puts up a sharade for his “fans”. People’s perceptions of themselves change over time. The man’s an angel so shuddup.
    Does the gossip count?

  25. Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls) No idea if she’s ‘indie’. And yes, as a kid, it is useful to have role models.
    Personally, I find the way Hollywood hides the sexuality of gay actors more weird in the 21st century. I always got the impression that musicians were more free to come out if they chose.

  26. George: Rob Halford of Judas Priest is openly gay.

  27. theotherone 26 Jun 2009, 12:54am

    JJ: ‘he’ made his name as a Queer artist discussing ‘his’ discomfort with ‘his’ body. ‘He’ named ‘his’ band after Marsha P. Johnson. ‘He’ foregrounded ‘his’ gender and then ‘he’ turned round and shat all over us when ‘he’ saw money coming in.

    When I think of that footage of ‘him’ singing Candy Says and (in an artical) discussing Jackie Curtis as a male…well I could shove my lipstick up his nose in anger.

  28. theotherone 26 Jun 2009, 12:57am

    BTW: as I think I’ve already said…

    If you want someone (unlike AH) who stays true to themselfs and doesn’t kick others in the teath to make money then…STEP FORWARD GENESIS BRYER P. ORRAGE! All hail the disreputible old Gender NonConformast. Land may s/he live!

  29. ChristoRay 6 Jul 2009, 4:09pm

    I’m a bit late to the party, but here’s my tuppence worth anyway. I’m slightly baffled by Toms’s comment about the public wanting to ‘own’ people’s sexuality by seeking gay role models. It’s a GOOD thing if a gay man or lesbian working in an essentially staright-dominated field comes out – there’ll always be someone, somewhere who’ll feel less alone because of it. I was reading an interview with Rob Halford in a music mag and he was saying how he felt a sense of pride in being able to reach out to the (admittedly relatively few) gay heavy metal fans out there – he’d had no such role model in his time.
    Of course there’s plenty of gay indie and Rock n Roll musicians out there, but there’s still relatively few in the mainstream, and of those that are, it’s only the gay girls making the real rock ‘n’ roll, in my opinion. I did have hopes for Wainwright, but he’s turned out to be a typical theatrical opera-and-Judy-obbsessed musical elitist queen. Will Young’s at least progressed in sound, but he’s still one for the mums. Deerhunter are relatively obscure, likewise Grizzly Bear, and Kele Okerele has only ever hinted at being queer. As, you may recall, has Morrissey – but I can forgive him that (and anything else) for writing some of the best queer lyrics of all time (not to mention featuring a gay porn snap on the cover of the Smiths’ first ever single in 1983) – go listen to Reel Around the Fountain, Handsome Devil, I Know it’s Over, Sheila Take A Bow, Shoplifters of The World, Hand in Glove, Want the One I can’t Have… (or at least Google the lyrics).
    But there’s loads of queer musicians out there gigging around and making their own music (like me! I’m a drummer in a post-punk band) so we gay music obsessives do exist, despite being thought of as a rarely-glimpsed mysterious sub-species.
    However, as a huge Rockabilly and Ska fan, I’m still wating for those two genres to throw up a queer or two. I’m not holding out much hope for Dan Sartian or Terry Hall coming out…

  30. Personally, I don’t care if a performer is gay or straight or whatever else s/he wants as a description of themselves. If I like the music they’re making and they’re not anti-gay that is good enough for me. As for Dan Sartain, I’ve met him numerous times and, no, he isn’t gay. But he couldn’t care less if you are. And that is good enough for me.

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