As we football fans kicked off last weeks FOOTBALL v HOMOPHOBIA events around the world Brooklyn based punky, housey, discoy, funky, arty, performy trio MEN kicked off their mini European tour to promote their first album TALK ABOUT BODY in London.
Just who are these men we hear you ask? Well none other than JD Samson (Le Tigre) Michael O'Neill and Ginger Brooks Takahasi with added extra bits from Emily Roysdon and Johanna Fateman.
The band bring to the stage an electric mix of feminism,trans awareness, sexuality,radicalness and politics with voice, rocking guitars, synth and visual aids.For the last 3 to 4 years the band have written lyrics and tunes and gigged around both LGBT and mainstream venues gaining friends and 'family' along the way with releases like 'credit card babies' 'off our backs' and new single and big gay anthem for the ladies, 'who am i to feel so free' this album brings together all these crowd favorites and some newly penned songs with memories of plenty of audience interaction for those who attended the show.
I caught up with JD and Michael as they partyed on as DJ's after the London gig and they kindly posed for a couple of pictures with a FOOTBALL v HOMOPHOBIA t-shirt to lend their support from 'the States' to the initiative after we discussed how difficult things can be both sides of the Atlantic for LGBT's who are wanting nothing more than to be themselves and live their lives as free and as equal as anyone else, but pressures to conform to 'the norm' or stereotype sometimes prevent this, and recent frequent physical attacks on LGBT's and the sadly ever increasing suicides show just how much homophobia still exists even in a modern western progressive civilised and liberal world.
Homophobia is rife throughout football in fact in some cases its escalating, and the Justin Campaign's efforts in the last 3 years to raise awareness to the issue is gaining much support from sports fans and other LGBT activists alike, lets hope this trend continues for many a year to come and like the song title from the new MEN album we can all challenge homophobia and 'MAKE IT REVERSE'.....