We’re in the internet era where everything is being slapped with the aesthetic-core label. From goth cottagecore vibes to scenecore, there’s a funky internet trend title for everything. But queercore is an OG – it’s been putting in the work for decades. For those of you who might not be too familiar with this revolutionary subgenre of the punk ethos, queercore is riotously anti-authoritarian and radical. A wide-spanning movement birthed in the ’80s across London, the U.S. and Canada, the queercore scene fought against the mainstream heteronormative LGBTQ+ society and discrimination across the community.
But it didn’t stop there. It intersected with the riot grrrl scene as DIY zines and pamphlets became a progressive means to spread information across underground networks. And, most notably, the homocore movement gave way to game-changing bands battling the “macho punks” image and queerphobia in the scene, with the likes of Pansy Division, Tribe 8 and B-52’s being some of the most common names thrown around at the time. The roots of the homocore scene have been set for generations, and thankfully so. Without years of relentless activism, the queer punk world wouldn’t be the progressive, inclusive community we have now.
And today, the image of queerness and homocore is a lot more representative of the society we live in. A quick look online and LGBTQ+ adjacent terms on TikTok have been flooding with searches racking up millions – yes, millions – of views. The term “queercore” has over seven million views, while “queercorepunk” has amassed close to 40,000 interactions.
Kerrang! caught up with popular TikToker and drag artist Salem VVitch, 23, who celebrates alt. aestheticism and queercore culture online. Hailing from Texas, they define the homocore scene as “riot” and “a ‘fuck you’ to people who looked down on us as a queer community and as punks”. As we chat about the revived queercore community within the younger generation, they share their thoughts on the current state of things. “I don’t think the queercore scene is dead,” Salem considers. “I like to believe that it’s underground – like how it was in the beginning. Looking at the music genre, it has definitely been growing. One of my favourite bands [are] Dog Park Dissidents, and I was surprised about how few people know them in the real world as opposed to the online space.”