This city is full of amazing musicians. What’s even more magical is the amount of talented LGBTQ musicians, artists and promoters who are working on the stage and behind the scenes to foster a more inclusive community.
I have recently attended shows where there’s a healthy mix of trans people, gender-nonconforming individuals, and guy and gal cisgender folks, and between all of them is a host of various queer identities.
That is not to say that our scene is perfect — far from it. There is always work to be done to unpack and dismantle “the hetero- and cis-normative white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy” (phew!) that sneaks into all communities, even DIY spaces. Here are just a few tips from a humble queer music journalist on how to make a scene more inclusive:
1. Seek out the many talented queer performers and include them on lineups. Actual sustained, regular representation is a key piece to the inclusivity puzzle, not tokenism applied to gigs headlined by an artist with a known queer identity. When representation becomes a healthy habit and routine, it allows people from smaller, less diverse communities to learn and grow alongside people with different life experiences.
2. This leads to my next point — education! I would love to see more zines that showcase the experience of local queer artists, that educate non-queer folks on how to be good allies, etc. Set up tables at any old show and pass out literature and have conversations about LGBTQ advocacy! Education requires patience and can be draining for queer folks, so it’s good to be able to act as an educator to other straight folks if you’re an ally.
3. Fiscally support all artists (duh), but especially use your cash to support queer folks! There is ample research that folks who fall under the LGBTQ umbrella (especially the L, T and Q) are economically disadvantaged by capitalism. Fight the system while supporting good art.
For now, here’s a list of just a few really talented artists under the LGBTQ umbrella who are active in our city:
The Childlike Empress