A few days ago, Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan made quite the statement and stance in regards to homophobia in metal and society in general. The man was simply responding to an anonymous question from one of his fans over at his official website, and what transpired after is something that warms my heart. To see such a prominent member of the metal community taking such a definitive and positive stance on an issue of this magnitude, it’s… well it feels a lot better than the idiotic comments Dave Mustaine gets away with spewing out.
I don’t want to spend a lot of time in this post, because Greg’s statement — which you can read below — is far more eloquent than I could ever get out. However, I do want to say that this issue is getting crazier and crazier, and I for one think it’s quite disgusting. With the United States presidential elections just around the corner, lines in the sand are once again being drawn by candidates and voters alike in regards to gay rights, or the lack thereof. As Greg says below there are a large group of people in this day in age that are still living with backwards thoughts and these people, particularly candidates at the moment, are using their religious beliefs as some sort of ill-conceived validation for their hate-mongering views. Now I’m not saying anything against Christianity or any religion for that matter, because I know for a fact that you can be a devout Christian and still firmly support gay rights, or be gay yourself. However, there are a significant amount of people in this country, and this world, who can’t or simply won’t acknowledge this fact. These people believe that the two have to be diametrically opposed, when they really don’t have to be. It’s quite disheartening for me and many others to be around such prejudice and blind hatred from people who don’t even have the foggiest idea of what’s really going on. Anyways, here’s the reposted comment from Puciato. Cheers!
Greg, I am a huge fan of your work with Dillinger and a metal fan overall. I am also homosexual. WHOA, right? My question is this – metal fans seem to pride themselves on being outsiders and letting anyone into their fold, yet homophobia is still huge in metal. Why is this exactly? It seems in this day and age especially, this mentality would have dissipated but sadly, it hasn’t. What is your take on this?
“I really think masculinity insecurity issues are the problem, and listening to testosterone charged music and putting on a tough guy front enables the people with those issues to live in a sort of constructed “man suit”, helping them to feel more adequate in their gender/sex role confusion. It masks the fact that they probably need therapy to deal with whatever went wrong in their transition from boyhood to manhood. Combine that with lack of education and culture, two things that we have a massive problem with in the US, and there you have it. It grosses me out. I think the younger generations are obviously progressing, everything progresses with time, but it’s annoying to wait for the world around you to play catch up when you’re already on that level. Understanding of homosexuality is one of the largest humanist issues of our time. Well, that and educating people about the evils that organized religion have perpetuated in society. Those two things go hand in hand really. It’s frustrating that the United States leans so much on Christianity politically, a religion that teaches at its fundamental core complete intolerance toward homosexuality. Every time a candidate endorses Christianity or uses it as a tool to get votes of bible belt states, he’s saying “go fuck yourselves” to all of the gay population. The problem needs to be dissolved through different angles. Proper education and culture exposure will catch everyone up, but again, waiting is annoying….and I totally see what you are saying about the comical false masculinity that is unfortunately prevalent in metal and hip hop and country music. It’s not a coincidence that homophobia is most rampant in those three genres, and that those genres are primarily embraced by low income groups, groups that have low exposure to quality education, and almost no exposure to travel or different cultures. Punk and hardcore ethics have always been more refreshing and progressive, however, which is partly why we as a band feel more aligned with those movements than with “metal” as far as mindset. The real movements, not the “check it out I’m wearing a CBGB’s shirt I bought at Nordstroms” mall versions. Sorry I’m rambling…too much caffeine to type this very coherently, but it is something I actually feel fairly passionately about so I’m glad you brought it up. I scroll through most of these but this I felt I needed to say something about. If we ever do a show that I feel is gonna have an overtly high level of homophobes in the audience, I promise to wear a shirt that has a picture of a dude sucking a cock on the front of it or something. Funny how the same people who would act violently offended by that would probably cheer if there were two girls making out or going down on one another onstage. Like I said, fucking insecure babies trapped in man bodies. Masculinity insecurity issues. Hopefully they’ll all have gay kids.
Let me also throw in how proud we are as a band that our fans appear to be accepting and tolerant and progressive as well. Haven’t met a DEP fan ever that didn’t seem like a quality human being. I’m pretty sure that we turn everyone off that isn’t that way. I’d like to at least. Don’t come in here with that shit.
As for you, the person who submitted this question….don’t let that shit get you down. Feeling ostracized may sting at times, but the truth is that you’re a forward person in a primitive time. Moving at a faster speed than others. Being ahead of the pack? That’s called being a leader. Embrace it.”
I would like to make one last appeal to the readers of HBIH, if you have the time would you please read through some of the stuff at Freedomtomarry.org, and possibly sign the petition. They’re an organization obviously dedicated to the expansion of marriage rights for homosexual citizens. Honestly, it’s a small act that will have great impact on our society in the long run. This organization, and others like it will and are helping us all get to that point of equality that everyone is so desperately grasping for. If you’re comfortable doing so, show your support.