Locked In

Good day all,

As a young metalhead with long hair, black jeans, a concert t-shirt and the ever constant presence of my Walkman living in suburban Pittsburgh, I left myself open to being a target for the bullying jock types at my school. Not something I cared about, I had plenty of friends who looked just like me and plus I had ( and hopefully still have) a light and lively disposition that allowed me to have and be friends with people from all of the different social cliques in my high school. But that is not how it is for everyone, and one thing I can tell you, I am a firm believer and defender of anyone who wants to be their own individual, as long as it doesn’t hurt another person. Walk around wearing a swastika on your shirt or some other kind of racist or hate speech and I have a problem, but being an individual and finding out who you are is part of growing up and becoming part of society. I am sure it is not that easy, and I am sure it was not easy for some people I went to school with, but hopefully they were able to find themselves and become who they wanted to be.

Which brings me to Tom Gabel the lead singer of Against Me! the popular punk/metal band who has decided after years of personal turmoil and confusion to live out the rest of his life as a woman. OK all of you metalheads, think about that for a second, this man, who is in one of the most macho of music genres has decided that he needs to live his life as a woman to be able to live the way he feels he needs to live. How amazing is that! Tom Gabel is going to make a decision for himself to help control a part of his life that he has not had control over since he was born. Also think about all of the other people in this world who, at this point do not have the courage to do what Mr. Gable did because of fear of backlash from friends, family, or people they don’t even know.

This is not new to our society, it is important to be able to advance in life to conform, one way or another we are all conforming to something. As metalheads we kind of accepted the mantle as anti-social and anti-establishment, we grew our hair long and wore the concert shirts and black jeans to show that we were different and not part of the mainstream so we conformed to the metal. Punk rockers did the same thing only with safety pins and combat boots. But we accepted our friends because we knew that we had to stick together to survive the ever calamitous environs of high school. Now think about how you felt in high school and amplify it by ten thousand because you realized that you were in the wrong body, and you had nobody to talk to about it or you didn’t feel the same way as your friends when it came to girls and boys. That my friends is a lot of stress, and sometimes more than a kid in high school and sometimes grade school can handle and we never find out how great that kid could have become because they take a permanent road to end their embarrassment, suffering, and confusion, and that just ain’t right!

It doesn’t matter whether you agree with the life choice of Tom Gable, but for all of you metalheads with kids use it as a teaching tool that there are people who are different all over, whether it is race, religion, sexual orientation, or how they feel in their own skin and help your kids understand that number one, it is not cool to harass and bully someone, and number two if they have issues like these they have someone to talk to. Even if you don’t think you are able to handle the issue help out your kids by finding them help or someone who can listen and understand. Tom Gable and for that matter Rob Halford took a huge risk by allowing their private lives to become public, and I applaud them, I hope that it showed at least a few kids, especially in the metal and punk communities that being different is OK and you can still be different and be metal. I mean after all isn’t that what metal is anyway?

_________________________________________________________________________

Because of some unfortunate computer issues I cannot post a Song of the Day.

Until Later, Peace,

Lurch

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2 thoughts on “Locked In

  1. One of the makers of the Matrix films actually did the same thing. Nice post. Classy way to handle a difficult subject.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, I think it is important that people understand that whether you agree with something or not someone may be silently suffering and in need of help and we can’t ignore that. Like I said in the post, I hope Tom Gable’s courage is enough to help even one kid recognize that it will be ok and they will be able to move on and be the person they want to be.

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