Young man in white feathered mask

Electronic music’s LGBTQ history has gone undercover.

Don’t you love this inspirational Coca-Cola Super Bowl commercial offering corporate support and solidarity to the queer people of Sochi? Oh wait, it’s actually part of the #CheersToSochi campaign by @QueerNY.

An excellent article at Resident Advisor offers “An Alternate History of Sexuality in Club Culture:”

The press release for the Promote Diversity fundraiser says, ‘Equality on all levels and tolerance are basic values that the club and music scene has always supported.’ Why is that so? Well, presumably because most of the music scenes that founded today’s dance music genres—disco, garage, house, etc—were closely connected with marginalized groups, including gays and lesbians, transpeople, racial and ethnic minorities.

Maybe we need to flip the opening question on its head: if the roots of electronic music are so sexually diverse, why do today’s audiences need to be reminded of it? Have we forgotten about the queer nightlife worlds of the ’70s and ’80s? That’s the problem according to Loren Granic, AKA Goddollars, co-founder and resident of A Club Called Rhonda in Los Angeles, who doesn’t mince words:

‘We’re currently experiencing a total mainstreaming of dance music in America,’ he says. ‘Many of these newcomers are straight/white kids who are very far removed from the LGBT community, despite fist-pumping by the millions to a music that was born from gay people of color sweating their asses off at 5 AM in a Chicago warehouse. It’s easy for us to dismiss this as a corruption of the music we hold so dear by charlatans and assholes, but many of the newcomers will be drawn into the music for life, and I think it’s important that we highlight the role that the gay community played and that we educate new fans of dance music to the ideals of community, equality and diversity that were so crucial to dance music’s DNA from the beginning.’

Thanks to @AnarchoAnon for this link.

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Photo by Ralph Thompson released under a Creative Commons No Derivatives license.