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Queer as Punk

A Guide to LGBTQIA+ Punk

For Pride month we recommend this punk playlist from NPR Music, highlighting LGBTQIA+ voices in punk music, past and present. Punk culture values the rejection of authority and claiming ones own identity to break free from the norm. In short, punk is queer and queer punks have been claiming their place at the forefront of a largely white, straight, cis-male scene for over 50 years.

From the authors, Jayna Brown and Tavia Nyong’o:

“Queer punk rock is angry, funny, ironic, deadly serious, political and studiously apathetic. But it is always questioning. We had a hard time coming up with an all-inclusive playlist until we realized that no such playlist could or should exist. As two black critics and fans of punk, we also could not go without remarking that we are putting this playlist together at a moment of uprising against white supremacy. Documentaries like the now-classic Afro-Punk delve into the contradictions of being black in a predominantly white scene, and since its release any number of acts — many on this list — have reclaimed the black roots of punk. Legendary LA punk drag icon Vaginal Davis named herself after black Marxist revolutionary Angela Davis. And since this is Pride month, it's worth reminding ourselves that Stonewall was an anti-police riot, and that black and brown trans women like Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson led the charge on the streets. As the world as we know it falls apart, punk rage and energy reminds us that we have always had the ability to wreck civilization and build new worlds.”

Braille Focus Le Brun S. Jackson Photography

Tamar-Kali, one of the artists featured on this week's recommended playlist, performing live. Photo: Braille Focus Le Brun S. Jackson Photography

Listen to the playlist here or on Spotify and read the full article, complete with an annotated track list here: Queer As Punk: A Guide To LGBTQIA+ Punk.

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