Heavy metal bands, and their followers, have been traditionally seen as a homophobic lot. The stereotype stems mostly from misguided, clickbait articles. Of course, every group has its bad apples, but the metal community, and specifically the icons of the genre, have actually been pretty vocal in their support for LGBT equality. So, here are 5 ways that heavy metal culture proved itself not homophobic and actually voiced its support in the fight for equality.

Slipknot vs North Carolina – North Carolina passed HB2, which essentially reversed LGBT protections and prevented trans people from choosing the appropriate restroom to use. Slipknot made a public statement declaring their opposition to the law and their teaming up with an LGBT activist group:

“When we started this tour, we had reservations about playing in North Carolina because of a law recently passed there called HB2.. We believe that regardless of who you are, or what you believe in this country.. that everyone should be given access to equal opportunities they need to succeed. This law flies in the face of those values.. We don’t care where you pee- just please flush.. We’ve decided to partner with Equality NC, the [group] leading the fight against this hateful bill. You can talk to Equality NC at our show about how to get involved, and get registered to vote in NC..”

This isn’t the first instance of Slipknot expressing support for the LGBT community, front man Corey Taylor has voiced his support in several past interviews. The masked, heavy metal giants just want the world to know that love will always win.

Dillinger Escape Plan Answers Fan Questions – Greg Puciato, vocalist for Dillinger Escape Plan, responds perfectly to a fan-submitted question on the topic of homophobia in metal music.

“[Homophobia] grosses me out. I think the younger generations are obviously progressing, everything progresses with time, but it’s annoying to wait for the world around you to play catch up when you’re already on that level.. If we ever do a show that I feel is gonna have an overtly high level of homophobes in the audience, I promise to wear a shirt that has a picture of a dude [censored] on the front of it or something. Funny how the same people who would act violently offended by that would probably cheer if there were two girls making out or going down on one another onstage.”

There was also that time Dillinger Escape Plan sold band shirts featuring “a Pegasus, with [male genitals] for a horn, ejaculating a giant rainbow, on a tie-dye shirt.” Fifty percent of proceeds were donated to The Trevor Project. Maybe a bit risque, but supportive nonetheless.

In This Moment’s “Natural Born Sinner”– Maria Brink, front lady of In This Moment, dedicates her career in music to self empowerment and social progress. The band’s 2014 release Black Widow continued this tradition, but the album’s 11th track, “Natural Born Sinner”, appears to speak on LGBT equality specifically.

“So go ahead and point your finger,

Tell me who to love is it him or her,

When will you see this is who I am?

An S-I-N-N-E-R,

Natural born sinner”

Maria Brink has a mixed child, so the struggle of being chastised for who you love is one that she can probably relate to. She calls herself a “natural born sinner” in the song, because that’s exactly what opponents of equality label LGBT people. She finishes off the song, changing up the chorus hook:

“So go ahead and point your finger,

I love who I want whether him or her,

When will you see that God made me a,

S-I-N-N-E-R,

Natural Born Sinner”

In that last chorus, you can see a bit of inspiration from Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”, and much like Gaga’s hit single, “Natural Born Sinner” meant something special to her LGBT fans. Maria Brink has received tweets and comments from fans telling her how much they can relate to the song and how it touched them in a way that few songs ever have before. One fan tweeted her, saying she should do a music video and dedicate it to the LGBT community, to which she responded, “I would love that!”

Metal Artists Express Excitement Over SCOTUS Ruling On Marriage Equality – The following metal artists publicly expressed happiness and support for the LGBT community after hearing news of the SCOTUS ruling:

  • Andy Biersack (Black Veil Brides & Andy Black)
  • Darkest Hour band
  • Architects band
  • Trivium band
  • Phil Labonte (All That Remains)
  • Paul Stanley (KISS)
  • Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine)
  • Keith Buckley (Everytime I Die, The Damned Things)
  • Tommy Rogers (Between the Buried and Me, Prayer for Cleansing)
  • Brian Ray (Shadows Fall, Death Ray Vision)

LGBT Heavy Metal Artists – The genre actually has many well known LGBT people. Here are a few:

  • Rob Halford (Judas Priest)
  • Otep Shamaya (Otep)
  • Roddy Bottum (Faith No More)
  • Doug Pinnick (King’s X)
  • Mina Caputo – Metal’s first transgender star (Life of Agony)

Heavy Metal is packed full of stigmas, likely due to its aggressive themes and testosterone driven sound, but the genre is far more accepting that you’d expect.

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