Absolutely beautiful read Shannon. I had goosebumps the entire time, you really touched my heart and soul. As a gay metal fan I can somewhat relate. Obviously I have it much easier as a not-entirely-obvious gay white guy but I can’t count the times bands called people faggot etc. and I’ve often felt intimidated at shows because I’m not one of those typical metal dudes either. I got in a huge argument with a singer once because he was calling people not moshing faggots. My boyfriend and I had seen this band over 20 times and he knew who we were and that we were always in the pit. After the show we waited outside and I told him “me and this faggot right here (pointing to my boyfriend) are in the pit at every show and you know that. He was shocked. He tried to say he didn’t mean anything by it but I explained to him how it doesn’t matter to a 16 year old kid who’s getting bullied if hes ‘means it’ or not. He apologized and I haven’t heard him say it again since.
I hope you are finding that things are changing. I go to a lot of Otep shows and there are people of all races there and my husband and I hold hands etc. during the shows. Obviously not Pantera but I do hope metal fans are becoming more open.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, it’s an important read that every white dude should read.
Horns up girl!