Gay & Lesbian Musicians Discuss Marriage Bluntly

9.7.2012

By Jerry Portwood

John Norris asks Rostam Batmanglij, Mike Hadreas, Bob Mould, Nico Muhly, Jonny Pierce, JD Samson, Tegan and Sara Quin to discuss marriage & more

Most young, gay and lesbian musicians don't seem to be in much of a hurry get married (well, other than Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear, who married his boyfriend Chad McPhail in 2011), but that doesn't mean they don't have strong views on the subject.

John Norris spoke to a few of them for a story in the Under the Radar magazine's "Protest Issue." Although it's not available online, we took a look at the story to see what these high-profile queer indie artists had to say on the subject of marriage and gay culture in general.

Tegan Quin has been in a relationship with photographer Lindsey Byrnes for four years, but they don't plan to get married just yet (even though they could in Quin’s native Canada), she tells Norris:“I just don’t feel it’s fair, and it makes me feel so sad. I don’t feel like I should benefit. And while I will fight to have that right in America, I absolutely do not feel I have to get married right now, no."

While Rostam Batmanglij discusses his desire to not be defined by his sexuality and also combatting "internalized homophobia," one of the most fascinating comments comes from Jonny Pierce from the Brooklyn band Drums. As Norris explains: "Pierce believes that in-your-face images of gay pride, with Dykes on Bikes and twinks in glittery Speedos and leather daddies all in celebration is merely counterproductive." As Pierce states: 

“I’m ready for gay pride parades to end. I’m ready for big, flamboyant prideful events to go away forever. I know there’s probably a lot of people who think that’s disgusting. But every time that I think that my parents might be taking a step in the direction of acceptance of me being gay, there’s slight little hints they might be opening up every once in a while, and then the door just slams closed... Why are we ‘proud’ to be gay and why would straight people be proud to be straight? When we draw attention to these things, whether we’re rebuking them or celebrating them, it pulls them out of the realm of being normal. And all I’ve ever wanted was to be normal.”

Overall, everyone from Bob Mould to JD Samson give honest and hopeful responses to their feelings about marriage—“It’s really obvious to me that things are going to change sooner or later,” says Samson—and remaining politically vigilant when it comes to LGBT rights. Check out the full story in Under the Radar's current issue.

Tags: Popnography
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