Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

MUSIC Laura Jane Grace gives good advice to future trans and queer artists
by Jerry Nunn
2021-09-04

This article shared 1055 times since Sat Sep 4, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


For one hour and 48 minutes, Laura Jane Grace will take listeners on a journey with the new Audible project Black Me Out. This transgender musician covers a great deal of territory in the session, from humble beginnings to the success of the punk band Against Me! There are tracks from her catalog played throughout the episode to accompany the engaging and thought-provoking stories.

For more background on Grace, there is her memoir Tranny: Confession of Punk Rock's Infamous Anarchist Sellout. The book dictates her history and coming-out story that inspired further activism for the LGBTQ+ community.

In 2018, she released a record under the name Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers on the Chicago-based label Bloodshot Records. Her music continues to evolve, and she has an upcoming live concert just on the horizon.

Windy City Times: I saw you perform at Riot Fest a few years ago.

Laura Jane Grace: Yes; that was 2019, which feels like it could be 10 years ago or yesterday! [Laughs]

WCT: Against Me! was the talk of the festival that year.

LJG: That festival lineup was great, with Patti Smith and Bikini Kill. It doesn't get much better than that!

WCT: What brought you to the Audible project?

LJG: I was asked to participate. I was familiar with Audible, such as the Patti Smith episode, which we just mentioned. The Billie Joe Armstrong episode hit me really hard because my life has had several intersections with his after seeing his band, Green Day, at many shows over the years.

The recording is not foreign to what I do, where the music is half of it and the other half is words. The words I have been exploring in the past few years, with a memoir in 2016 and the True Trans series I did with AOL. I did a tour with the book that was similar to this format with storytelling in between playing songs.

The music part comes more naturally to me, but the words part I have had to work at harder over the years. When you are young, you can play like the Ramones with song after song, but when you are older, it is nice to have a breath in between and even make time to tune your guitar.

The appeal of doing it at a time like right now was there. I don't think it would have turned out the same if the circumstances had been different. Thinking about old times during a global pandemic gives it a completely different context.

WCT: What is your goal for Black Me Out?

LJG: I want people to listen to it and connect to the music and words. I hope listeners can identify in some way, even if it is not their experience. They may possibly feel less alone in the world.

It can be educational. It is sharing a different perspective that some might not understand. It might connect with some that do understand but have different circumstances.

That is all art is, right? It is throwing a line out and hoping someone grabs the other end, then it is like a giant game of telephone.

WCT: What are your current thoughts on the discrimination that trans people face in the world?

LJG: I get that I now have a huge amount of privilege with the platform and band for over 20 years, but at the same time I am a transgender person. Transgender people's place in society is still what it is. Just because there are certain advancements in media recognition or visibility, when it comes to real-world experience, the rights that transgender people are fighting for [make up] a need that still exists.

We have to make sure there is no discrimination in housing or healthcare within society. Being welcome in public spaces is a constant battle for transgender people. Those things exist. Again, I am very lucky to do what I do. I love playing in a band and traveling the world, but there is still much work that needs to be done.

WCT: What will it take to have more transgender singers played on major radio stations?

LJG: I have been lucky to have some real success at radio, but we had some pre-existing success too, prior to when I came out. Radio is crazy the way it works in the way it is controlled. The way radio is formatted needs to change in general for it to just survive.

There does need to be more diversity and inclusion. I am thankful this year that I was asked to join the Recording Academy. Becoming part of that process is seeing change happening. The Grammys are trying to get with the times. They are trying to advance and grow, but radio is still coming out of worlds that pay to play or have major labels getting played more than indies or trans and queer people simply being not played.

I am a strong believer that good songs rise to the top. If you are an artist that is trans or queer then just focus on writing the best songs that you can. Make the best art you can and I believe it will find an audience, radio involvement or not. If you can push things forward and go out there to make waves, with radio coming to you, as opposed to you coming to them, then that is the way to do it.

There are so many ways right now where the playing field is level. That is the beauty of social media and the Internet, you can get the gatekeepers out of the way and have a direct connection with your audience.

That is something that punk rock has taught me over the years. If no one will book you at a club, play on a street corner, play in a garage, play in a basement, play anywhere that will have you. Never judge an audience. If no one will put out a record for you, then put out a record yourself. Go out and do it. Don't take no for an answer if that is what you want to do.

WCT: That is very inspiring. Do you hear from many fans [who] are inspired by you?

LJG: My fans are so gracious and connected. It is amazing to have a community that I can see around the world, in non-COVID times. Even connected through social media, I hear stories all the time. I make myself accessible before and after shows.

I put myself out there and tell a story; then it comes back to me. It all echoes back to me in so many unexpected ways.

Black Me Out is out on audible.com/pd/Black-Me-Out-Audiobook/B09CWL3QTQ

Grace plays Sleeping Village, 3734 W. Belmont Avenue, on Thursday, Sept. 23. Tickets can be found at Sleeping-Village.com .


This article shared 1055 times since Sat Sep 4, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

HRC condemns NCAA for failure to protect LGBTQ+ athletes
2022-01-21
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Late last night, the NCAA ratified (https://www.ncaa.org/news/2022/1/20/media-center-ncaa-members-approve-new-constitution.aspx) its new constitution, which does not include nondiscrimination policy language that had ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Who is my neighbor?
2022-01-20
The notion of functioning as a Good Samaritan is one that transcends any particular faith tradition. The idea of humans treating humans in a humane way sounds so simple, yet history and modernity are replete with ...


Gay News

Revry's Black History Month of LGBTQ-First Films and Series celebrates Black stories
2022-01-20
-- From a press release - Los Angeles - This Black History Month, Revry is programming LGBTQ-first Black stories with themes from the differently-abled, LGBTQ athletes, activists and the lesbian, trans and the cis-gender lesbian community. Over 35% of Revry's audience is ...


Gay News

NCAA updates trans-related policies
2022-01-20
The NCAA has adopted a sport-by-sport approach for transgender athletes, bringing the organization in line with the U.S. and International Olympic Committees (IOC), POLITICO reported. Under the new guidelines, approved ...


Gay News

MUSIC Aimee Mann to perform April 29-30 at Old Town School of Folk Music
2022-01-19
Musician Aimee Mann is slated to perform April 29-30 at Old Town School of Folk Music's Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. After several albums with 'Til Tuesday (with songs like "Voices ...


Gay News

Nominations announced for 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards
2022-01-19
-- From a press release - New York, NY - Wed., Jan. 19, 2022 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced the nominees for the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards. RuPaul's Drag ...


Gay News

Human Rights Campaign Foundation releases new data on the LGBTQ+ wage gap
2022-01-19
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released ...


Gay News

VIEWS Trans women passing the torch
2022-01-19
I am writing this letter to the editor to compliment Windy City Times on its recent article "Passing the torch: How generations of trans women approach activism, advocacy," by Max Lubbers. The article highlights how the ...


Gay News

Texas' anti-trans youth sports law goes into effect
2022-01-18
A new Texas law bars transgender student athletes from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity, Houston Public Media reported. House Bill 25 is one of several laws that went into effect ...


Gay News

Passing the torch: How generations of trans women approach activism, advocacy
2022-01-18
As part of an older generation of transgender women in Chicago (including icon Gloria Allen), advocate Channyn Lynne Parker knows the work will outlast her. That's why she thinks of advocacy like a marathon, not a ...


Gay News

Nat'l Black Justice Coalition celebrates openly LGBTQ+/SGL NAACP Image Award nominees
2022-01-18
-- From a press release - The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) celebrates the historic number of openly Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+, and same-gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) nominees for the NAACP Image Awards. The Image ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Music festivals, Murray Bartlett, Reese Witherspoon, author David Sedaris
2022-01-16
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival revealed the lineup for this year's festival, taking place June 16-19 on the Bonnaroo Farm in Manchester, Tennessee, a press release noted. Highlights will include performances by Tool, J. Cole, Stevie ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Lambda Legal, Penn. city's change, couple on the run, Bayard Rustin
2022-01-16
Lambda Legal filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society, Inc. on behalf of a former employee who was fired after they and other Dallas Arboretum ...


Gay News

Black Ensemble Theatre announces 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings
2022-01-14
-- From a press release - Chicago, IL—Black Ensemble Theater's Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor announces its 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings. The 2022 Season includes four World Premiere musicals showcasing the power ...


Gay News

Amariey Lej, 20 year old Black trans woman, killed in Pennsylvania
2022-01-12
-- From a NBJC press release - WILKINSBURG, PA- The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) mourns the loss of Amariey Lej, a 20-year-old Black transgender woman. Amariey was shot and found lying in the streets of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, on January 1, 2022. Lej ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.