Metal in the Media



“Bullying” seems to have become a hot button issue since 18-year old NJ college student Tyler Clementi killed himself earlier this year after his sexual encounter with another man was allegedly streamed online by his roommate and another student. Public outcries like this are always bittersweet; on the one hand it’s a shame it takes a death to bring an issue like this to light (an issue which had shamefully been ignored for way too long), but on the other hand any positive change that can result from such a tragedy can be looked upon as a silver lining.

Homophobia and gay-bashing in the metal community — where a bunch of social outcast have surprisingly low tolerance for others that are different than they are — are as bad as they are anywhere. Exhibit A: the outrageous comments right here on this site.

It is cool, though, that Gene Simmons, Slash and Dave Navarro are speaking out on the issue; I doubt anyone who sees this PSA will say “Wow, I *should* stop saying ‘that’s gay’ as a derogatory joke!” and suddenly come to terms with LGBT rights, but I hope that these musicians’ (and the other celebrities in this video’s) high profiles have a subtle effect on folks over time, just one nail in the coffin if you will.

What’d be really awesome is if a bunch of higher profile actual metal dudes made a similar PSA. Imagine Tom G. Warrior, Randy Blythe, Howard Jones and Blake Judd on camera defending LGBT rights. Sadly, that’ll never happen… not because those men don’t believe in gay rights (I don’t happen to know what their opinions on the matter are) but because if they do they’re too chickenshit to admit it for fear of public backlash. So, for now, rampant homophobia in metal persists. Shame.


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