The homophobic t-shirt that ended in an ally moment for a glam legend

The homophobic t-shirt that ended in an ally moment for a glam legend

- By Tom Dare

Hell Bent for Metal recall a high-profile incident of homophobia that had a happy ending. Plus how a Nightwish anthem relates to trawling through Grindr, and Riverwood and Pridelands go in the jukebox.

The LGBT+ heavy metal podcast recounts the story of how Sebastian Bach, when he was still in Skid Row, was at the centre of one of heavy metal's most upsetting incidents of homophobia involving a t-shirt with an offensive slogan – and how his actions since are a brilliant example of how people can grow and change.

In 1989, Sebastian Bach was pictured in a t-shirt with an aggressively homophobic slogan on the front. Tom and Matt summarise the incident, and why the words used on that shirt still hit them where they live more than thirty years later. They also give Bach's explanation from the time about why he wore the shirt, and explain how that really only served to make the incident worse not better.

However, rather than this being a very negative, critical section of the pod, it's being discussed because Bach has since proved that he has grown and changed, thanks to an incident where he walked out of an interview where the host of the radio show he was guesting on made a homophobic comment about Rob Halford. Further, Tom and Matt both feel this is a prime example of why it's much better to help people to grow and change, than to simply write them off as "bad".

This week's Camp Classic is "I Wish I Had An Angel" by Nightwish, from the Finnish symphonic metal giants' 2004 album 'Once'. After some sass about the band's outfits in the videos and some discussion about campness of pounding industrial (and a random digression about how you can like the feel of music more than the music itself), the hosts dig into a chat about the awfulness of being a single if you really want to find someone to be with.

The first part is a section on the difficulty of both longing within the closet, and of romance (or, for that matter, hook-ups) while you're still closeted or discreet. The second, longer section though, is about how much of a challenge it can be to go through the various actions you need to if you're a single gay who wants to be a partnered gay.

Put another way, this one's about how Nightwish remind Tom of how shit it is trawling through Grindr.

Plus this week's visit to the Hate Crew Gaybar sees jukebox additions in the shape of 'Shadow And Flames', the second album by Skyrim-quoting Egyptian epic folk/prog metal band Riverwood, and 'Light Bends', the debut album from atmospheric Australian metallers Pridelands.


Listen to Hell Bent For Metal on Spotify here, listen on iTunes here, or choose one of the other ways to listen here.

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