As much as I try to not let it get to me, reading the comments under the Man On Man news makes me frighteningly aware that I am repulsive to some people, that there are people in metal who would be disgusted should they see me hold my fiancée's hand or kiss his cheek. The comments give me a real gut-knotting anxiety, the like of which that I hope you don't, and never will, understand (although I imagine almost all LGBT+ readers will). My fight-or-flight response kicks in, because I'm all too aware that some people's hate of me extends to physical violence. (The number of gay men in Britain who have been beaten up for who we are makes sure I can't forget this.) And, while I can calm all this down, when you have to experience it frequently, it's exhausting.
Metal's supposed to be the place where we all come together to find the sense of community that can’t elsewhere. But, as former TesseracT singer Ashe O'Hara put it when he came on HBFM, the journey of the gay man through the scene can be quite a lonely one. There just aren't as many of us here as there are in society.
I believe the reason for this is simple: Metal is where misfits who've struggled to stay afloat find a crew, and we don't want to kick each other off the boat. But, as a result, we're letting a minority of dickheads scare off people like me before we've even had a chance to get on board. The only way to change this is by speaking out against it.
If we, an LGBT+ metal podcast, didn't talk about this when we saw an avalanche of it on the internet, who else would? And next time, will you?