Intersections of Queerness and Race in Queercore
I have recently been studying the movement known as Queercore in another one of my classes. Queercore has been defined as ” a cultural and social movement that began in the mid-1980s as an offshoot of punk. It is distinguished by a discontent with society in general and a complete disapproval of the gay and lesbian community and its oppressive agenda. Queercore expresses itself in DIY style through zines, music, writing, art and film. ” I have, however, been specifically studying the musical and theatrical aspects of Queercore. After listening to and watching videos of many bands and artists who consider their music to be under the genre of Queercore, it seems there is a lack of racial diversity in this music that is written and played mainly for queer individuals, obviously including queer-identified people who are in racial minority groups. I was, however, able to find several musicians and artists of various racial minority groups that consider themselves to be part of Queercore:
1. Tribe 8- This band is a lesbian punk band from California and has an African-American lesbian woman, a Canadian lesbian woman, and an Asian-American lesbian woman as members of the band. Their band name comes from the common practice of tribadism among lesbian woman and they frequently sing about transgender issues as well as S/M issues. Definitely check our their website.
Here is a video of their song, “Femme Bitch Top”:
2. Vaginal Cream Davis- Vaginal Cream Davis considers herself one of the originators of the Queercore movement as she is an African-American drag queen who is mostly involved with the creation of zines within the Queercore. She also does theatrical performances and sings in a band. Her drag name pays homage to Angela Davis, the feminist activist who was a tremendously influential leader in the Civil Rights Movement as part of the Black Panther Party. Click here for Vaginal Cream Davis’ website.
Here is a video of one of Vaginal Cream Davis’ performances:
3. Limp Wrist- Limp Wrist is a hardcore, straightedge band that considers themselves part of Queercore since many of the band members identify as queer. Many of their songs are geared towards a queer audience, but the band members say they constantly ask themselves, “Are we a queer band that plays punk music? Or, are we a punk band that plays queer music?” The concept of straightedge is also popular within Queercore music as many fans don’t drink alcohol or do drugs and have safe, consensual sex. The lead singer of Limp Wrist is Martin Sorrondeguy, who identifies as an Amerindio-Latin American and has sung in the past about the variety of issues facing Spanish-speaking sexual minorities. Here is Limp Wrist’s website.
Here is a video of one of Limp Wrist’s live performances: