Striking a Chord, Developing Accord

Amidst preshow buzz, the house lights suddenly dim and the stage is illuminated a muted red. The crowd sounds cheers, claps and whistles as a few goofy-looking guys plug in their instruments. An explosion tears through the room as they enter into the first notes of the opening song.

To those who have been part of such scenes, the preceding words are merely familiar where the emotions implied are brighter than the noon-day sun. Because of my own love for such moments I now write on behalf of a group of people who have yet to unite openly.

If there is one aspect of UVM that binds, it is the mysticism of music. As various campus locales are immortalized as the birthplace of Phish, the genre of modern jambands speaks to our mass more than does any other.

In a scene of such diverse music, should not the fans be as diverse and open? This question is the inspiration for what I hope will be a successful project many of you may wish to help undertake. For my part, I wish to build on ideas espoused in a previous article: the expansion of the gay community into subcultures which have little to no representation therein.

Now, I do not wish to draw attention away from the prowess of the bands we all love. But if a visible and respected community of gay people existed within the jamband community, then we would all be free to share in the groove without any fear of awkwardness, or God forbid, retaliation.

I wish today to say, “Yes, there are gay fans, and we have just as much of a right to feel the freedom of The Show as anyone else!”

I understand this may cause tension at first, but why should there be any tension between straights and gays? Only the eradication of a system denying the right to be open can eliminate this tension.

A warm and welcoming community of gay fans may alleviate the stress of The Closet and even allow people to come to terms, personally and publicly, with their own identities.

A final statement for those uncomfortable with homosexuals: we are not trying to disturb you.

Fear not that gay fans will try to take over the scene; this movement is to create gay culture defined by the peculiarities which define the jamband scene.

To assume that I wish to destroy the scene or to negatively change it falls back to stereotypes and bigotry.

For anyone who wishes to help create such an organization, please tell me. E-mail me at [email protected]; let me know. Dialogue has often been the impetus for change, so let me know what you think!