The metal community doesn’t suffer from the same horrible homophobia rampant in the professional sports world, where the very few athletes that have come out as gay have had a very difficult time finding jobs. But that doesn’t mean that homophobia isn’t rampant in our world, or that fear of negative consequences has kept a good many LGBTQ folks in the closet. Think about it: out of the hundreds of bands we cover on a regular basis, most with three to five members each, only a tiny handful identify as anything but straight? Surely there are more folks besides Otep Shamaya, Paul Masvidal, Mina Caputo and Dug Pinnick.
So: Billboard Magazine spoke to a handful of LGBTQ artists in celebration of Pride Month, and Otep gave an interesting quote about gay people in the metal community:
“Probably, I don’t know. More than 10, less than 20 [people have outed themselves to me], maybe … That’s usually the first thing people come and talk to me about, like, ‘Hey, you know, I’ve been with someone before, and thank you for fighting.’ And they’re very supportive, privately. It’s nice, but I always say, ‘Thank you for trusting me, I really appreciate that. But please consider to let people know.’ It’s not a big deal. Why should it be a big deal? It’s not, and they all say they’ll consider it, but they’re afraid of losing fans or they’re afraid of their family. They’re afraid of what it might do to them, perception of record companies and all this stuff, and they say they applaud me for my fierceness, [but] I don’t see what I do as anything special.”
It’s pointless to speculate on who she may be talking about, but it’s certainly worth considering that those folks are out there — likely someone you’re a fan of, have seen perform, have maybe even met in person. It would be wonderful if those people find the courage to come out and give a voice to fans who may be afraid or ashamed… but that can’t be forced, and needs to happen on its own schedule. Hopefully that’s sooner rather than later.
[via Metal Insider]