pop against homophobia!
one: behave two: behave (brittle mix) three: misbehave (brittle mix) four: misbehave
"all which was said to be good was wrong: evil was our friend all along." (homocult)
"i'm tri-sexual. i'll try anything!" david johansen, new york dolls
"the bastard was saying i was a bloody queer, so i smacked him one."
john lennon after almost killing dj bob wooler at a party in Liverpool in 1963.
in april 1992 jason donovan  took the face magazine  to court - winning £200,000 from the case - for the "poisonous slur" of being portrayed (albeit very vaguely) as gay. by reprinting a poster of donovan in mock-up "queer as fuck" t-shirt, the face re-opened the can of worms that is pop's in-built conservatism. editor sheryl garratt told the court that she would have used the picture - accompanying an article on "outing" - "even if it had featured mickey mouse". the judge summed up the ignorance of a sexually-repressed establishment by replying that "everyone already knew about minnie."
around the same time, happy mondays singer shaun ryder was mouthing off in the national music press, denouncing homosexuality following a well-reported tantrum after being described as 'a former rent boy." ryder smashed up a bar before issuing a press release "confirming" his heterosexuality. unfortunately, donovan and ryder are only the vocal tip of the iceberg. pop is still entrenched in sexist, woman-hating reactionary trash. homophobia sits neatly with this pop industry fear of dykes and queers: hetero sells! it's still a straight man's man's man's world, and it's still scared stiff of gay sexuality.
pop stars can embrace any cause, charity or issue - but still can't openly embrace people of their own sex. pop reflects homophobic culture; promotes it even. seems like someone's always telling you how to behave...
it's fashionable to hate gays and that's not just a gay problem. there's something seriously wrong with allegedly 'rebellious' youth culture that lines up with the moral right, the fuddy duddies, the religious bigots and the blue rinse anti-rock brigade to attack a section of the community because of its sexual preferences. this is the 'generation of swine' hunter s thompson warned us about - a generation that can't tell the difference between moronic conformity and rebellion, a generation which regards picking on minorities as radical, man. as lux interior of the cramps said recently:when led zep and the rest started heavy metal it was a message about freedom, being wild, without boundaries. now it seems to be about closing yourself up, being bigoted. it's like anti rock and roll...
in his hysterical attack on rock music - stairway to hell - u.s. fundamentalist rick james  claims that all rock music is "evil". he also writes:like a fly squirming to break out of a web...teens once caught in the devilish web of homosexuality are powerless to escape. when you experiment with homosexuality or lesbianism you are playing with demons.surely it's inconceivable that a rock and roll musician - a representative of a culture that at least has pretensions to towards rebel status - could side with a creep like rick?
getting the facts straight
gay people have always set standards of excellence...that's a fact. whether straight people want to accept that or not, it's true, that's it - period.
house dj frankie knuckles
he's got a point, especially about pop, rock and dance music. take any genre and you'll find homosexuals or homosexual imagery involved or extolled. when little richard whooped and hollered and pouted and leered under his teetering bouffant and heavy eye makeup, it wasn't only racist bigots he was teasing. visit the wax trax label in chicago, home of the dance core movemement, and you'll find a couple of gay guys running things. look at the men behind the british invasion of the early '60s  - face it, a homophobic rock fan makes about as much sense as a pasta fanatic who hates italians. as the british anti-bigotry comic aargh 'artists against rampant government homophobia' pointed out - if you applied retrospective homophobia to popular culture - if you actually took out the gay influence - then you'd have fuck all worth listening to.
"would there have been any beatles without brian epstein?" no bowie, no glam, no stones, no queen or elton john, no house, no techno, no morrissey, no pet shop boys, no disco, no new york dolls, no guns n' roses and certainly no punk.
if you're willing to defend anything that's positive about your culture from people who wish to destroy it, then you've got to be opposed to homophobia. there are no "straights" in rock music, we are all homo, hetero faggots...and should be damn proud of the fact. it's time to decide which side you're on. it's time to stop the crap.
written and recorded woodlands studio late summer 1992. engineered by neil ferguson. produced by chumbawamba. brittle remixes by the sexy papa brittle at southern studios...using papa vision!  engineered by paul harding. chumbawamba: better the devil you know . agit-prop records [... address and fax number, redacted]. distributed by southern studios [...address and fax number, redacted].
postcard photograph by paula solloway 
cover extracts taken with thanks from an article by steven wells