Pop star Adam Lambert and other artists have sounded off against what they call homophobia in the music industry, which they insist exists without ever being properly scrutinized.
In a video produced by Billboard for their upcoming “Pride Summit” in collaboration with The Hollywood Reporter, artists such as Lambert and Big Freedia denounced the discrimination they face even in one of the most progressive of industries.
“Have I experienced homophobia in the music industry? Of course I have,” began Freddie Ross, aka Big Freedia, a gender-fluid bounce rapper who in 2016 was convicted of benefit fraud. “I keep that negative energy away from me and just be around the people that love me and love what I’m doing.”
Meanwhile, singer Adam Lambert explains that in “many cases the people that were the gatekeepers in these situations may not have been homophobic themselves on a personal level, but were fearful of how it would work for an openly gay artist to work in a mainstream music situation.”
— Billboard Pride (@BillboardPride) August 5, 2019
Canadian singer Tegan Quin, from the duo Tegan and Sara, also argued people lack the “vernacular” to talk about LGBT issues.
“I don’t think people really have the vernacular to talk about it and they weren’t comfortable about it,” said Quin. “There was some weird stuff, I’m holding some drudges I’m not going to lie, I have a list.”
Taylor Swif is another major musician who has taken a stand against supposed homophobia in her industry. Last year, the “Shake It Off” singer publicly defended the Girls Like Girls singer Hayley Kiyoko, who also appears in the Billboard video, after she complained that artists like Swift talk “about men in every single song and video.”
“We should applaud artists who are brave enough to tell their honest romantic narrative through their art, and the fact is that I’ve never encountered homophobia and she has,” Swift said in her response. “It’s her right to call out anyone who has double standards about gay vs straight love interests.”