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Louisville Deathfest Attacks Transgender Metal Vocalist

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Lauren Ray, former vocalist of metal outfit Stagecoach Inferno, has brought to our attention a hateful Facebook post and some alarming comments made by Louisville Deathfest.

Ray has been the target of this form of bullying because of her status as a transgender woman and not for any other reason: Stagecoach Inferno have never played Louisville Deathfest and she has never had any contact with the festival, its organizers or staff. The attack comes completely unprompted, a direct slight on Lauren and a band in the local scene for no reason other than bigotry.

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Needless to say, this qualifies as Transphobic Bullshit. Not only is it gross, it’s also just fucking stupid. It’s childish, it looks like something my bully in seventh grade would have said and it doesn’t do anything other than make the poster look like an unimaginative dick. The post was quickly taken down after being flagged as hate speech, but its very existence disturbs me.

Lauren sent MetalSucks the following email:

“First and foremost I feel it is paramount to mention that I have only ever been treated with respect and love throughout my transition and coming out process from my former band, the Louisville metal scene, and the greater metal community as a whole. In my experience the metal community has been exceedingly accepting of diversity and welcoming of all, regardless of what an outsider may assume judging at first glance.

“It is a great injustice that this fest had the audacity to mention Louisville specifically in the title of their event. My hope is that the impact of their bigoted public persona and the cluster-fuck of an event this summer only hurts their own reputation and not that of my local community as a whole.

“While I was never a musician with any real acclaim outside of my region, and the organization making the bigoted remarks is nothing but a disgraceful stain on our scene… I feel it of utmost importance to use what modicum of public voice I have to speak up for those of my trans siblings who have no voice in the public sphere what-so-ever, and to speak as goddamn loudly as I know how.

“I am no one’s joke and by extension no trans person is a joke for sake of their trans status alone. We as a community deserve, and I as an individual demand due respect.

“Feel free to do with this as you please or to do nothing at all with it. I have a personal obligation to not let shit like this slide, my hope is that you echo this sentiment.”

-Lauren Josie Ray

Transgender people are deserving of as much respect as anybody else simply by virtue of existing: we all deserve the basic decency of common humanity, yet so often transgender people become a convenient scapegoat for political violence. To see this continue is to bear witness to longstanding systems of oppression, and to be a person with a modicum of empathy for other human beings is to resist all forms of bigotry from wherever it comes. We here at MetalSucks also have a personal obligation to not let shit like this slide, so I want to deliver a solid Fuck You from the entire MetalSucks staff to Louisville Deathfest.

Your actions are disgusting, your words only exist to be hurtful, you really made yourself out to look like a total piece of shit, and you should go fuck yourself with a spiked bat. We’re not interested in debating this point as there’s no purpose in arguing about this issue any longer: you either believe transgender folks are people deserving of respect, or you deserve to be run over by a steamroller. It’s not a debate, it’s a matter of fact: transgender people are people, and it’s really not possible to disagree with that. It’s not subjective, it’s not just a current fad; it’s the way the world is. If you don’t get with it, the dawning new world will push you over and trample you into the mud to build the foundations of a society that agrees. Fuck you and everything you stand for, and fuck Louisville Deathfest.

But that’s not all, as whoever is behind the Louisville Deathfest Facebook account decided to take it further in the comments of the above post, choosing to make light of autism:

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Lovely! It’s difficult to choose where to begin here, but I’d like to start with “injected with autism” because that joke wrote itself. Whatever Schecter has to say about Comrade Winter’s politics, he’s right about the page: whoever is writing these comments is just being a dick, and none of this is funny. It’s just embarrassing, and I feel bad for everybody else on the festival’s staff that has to deal with whoever posted this. This is clearly a person who never developed beyond their sophomore year of high school and will harbor the maturity of a fifteen-year-old forever.

This is a small, insecure and weak little man who has almost no good attributes to his character, I can infer, and whatever comes of him will never amount to anything noteworthy or meaningful.

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