THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN vocalist Greg Puciato has responded to a fan-submitted question regarding homophobia in metal. The question and Puciato's answer, as posted on Greg's official web site, GregPuciato.com, follow below.
Question from "Anonymous": "Greg, I am a huge fan of your work with DILLINGER and a metal fan overall. I am also homosexual. WHOA, right? My question is this — metal fans seem to pride themselves on being outsiders and letting anyone into their fold, yet homophobia is still huge in metal. Why is this exactly? It seems in this day and age especially, this mentality would have dissipated but sadly, it hasn’t. What is your take on this?"
Greg Puciato: "I really think masculinity insecurity issues are the problem, and listening to testosterone-charged music and putting on a tough-guy front enables the people with those issues to live in a sort of constructed 'man suit,' helping them to feel more adequate in their gender/sex role confusion. It masks the fact that they probably need therapy to deal with whatever went wrong in their transition from boyhood to manhood. Combine that with lack of education and culture, two things that we have a massive problem with in the U.S., and there you have it.
"It 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.
"Understanding of homosexuality is one of the largest humanist issues of our time. Well, that and educating people about the evils that organized religion have perpetuated in society. Those two things go hand in hand, really.
"It's frustrating that the United States leans so much on Christianity politically, a religion that teaches at its fundamental core complete intolerance toward homosexuality. Every time a candidate endorses Christianity or uses it as a tool to get votes of Bible-Belt states, he’s saying 'go fuck yourselves' to all of the gay population. The problem needs to be dissolved through different angles. Proper education and culture exposure will catch everyone up, but again, waiting is annoying…. and I totally see what you are saying about the comical false masculinity that is unfortunately prevalent in metal and hip hop and country. It's not a coincidence that homophobia is most rampant in those three genres, and that those genres are primarily embraced by low-income groups, groups that have low exposure to quality education, and almost no exposure to travel or different cultures. Punk and hardcore ethics have always been more refreshing and progressive, however, which is partly why we as a band feel more aligned with those movements than with 'metal' as far as mindset.
"Sorry I'm rambling… too much caffeine to type this very coherently, but it is something I actually feel fairly passionately about, so I'm glad you brought it up.
"I scroll through most of these [questions], but this I felt I needed to say something about.
"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 sucking a cock 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.
"Like I said, fucking insecure babies trapped in man bodies. Masculinity insecurity issues. Hopefully they'll all have gay kids."
Photo credit: Greg Puciato's Facebook page