Happy Pride Month, idobi fam! We love you all and want to remind you that no matter who you love or who you are, there’s a place for you at idobi. To celebrate & let our rainbow flags fly, starting June 18th, we’ll be spotlighting some of our fave punk x queer people in our scene.
So make sure to follow @idobiRadio on social media and keep checking back on this post as more awesome names get added everyday!
Laura Jane Grace
Laura Jane Grace is an absolute legend. While fronting the long-loved punk band Against Me!, Grace came out as a transgender woman in Rolling Stone Magazine’s article, ‘The Secret Life of Transgener Rocker Laura Jane Grace’. She stood in her truth in front of the entire world and went on to release more kickass music, a memoir titled Tranny: Confessions Of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout, and she didn’t and does not hesitate to be the political activist the world needs. Laura Jane Grace lights a fire in people to remind them to fully embrace their truest, most badass selves. (Maddi Myers)
Lauren Sanderson is the epitome of realness. After her 2015 TEDTalk, and building her platform covering hit songs on YouTube, the midwest sweetheart signed to Epic Records. She then released her album Spaces in 2017, but when Lauren wasn’t feeling fulfilled on the major label she left to continue music on her own terms. Leaving behind the milestone that many artists aspire to, she set out to make her album Midwest Kids Can Make It Big which she released independently in 2020. The video for the song “Hotel Room” shows the sweet playfulness of a lesbian couple in love while the song itself could be the anthem for any love-linked pair. Lauren has been featured in Out Magazine but she isn’t just a role model for LGBTQ+ youth, she’s a role model for anyone who wants to live their truth with passion and vulnerability. (Sarah Madden)
The first word that comes to mind when talking about Mo Doron is sunshine. If you’ve ever liked one of those snappy yet sassy tweets from the Riot Fest Twitter, it’s probably the work of Mo. On top of being a graphic designer + social media assistant for the festival, she is also the creator behind Support Your Fellow Rockers which is “A resource for rockers, sourced by the scene.” Previously, it was a place for bands to find people to crash with while on tour, and a way to source creatives for jobs. Currently, it helps find organizations to donate to for the Black Lives Matter movement. No matter what Mo gets her hands on, you know it’s going to be great. (Aud Lew)
Bridget Craig aka Lil B Craig, isn’t only a great photographer and videographer but she can adapt to any atmosphere to make her subjects shine. She has toured the country documenting artists of all different genres including I The Mighty and Jade Bird. One thing about Bridget that cannot be ignored is that she is unapologetically herself and is always finding new ways to showcase her talent. Whether it’s speaking up about issues she cares about or finding a new way to edit videos, her tenacity and unabashed attitude makes her a force to be reckoned with. (Aud Lew)
If there’s a revolution happening, look out for Halsey at the head of the pack. Biracial and bisexual, she’s had her fist in the air for equality since her career’s humble Tumblr (humblr?) beginnings. As her platform expands, so does her activism. From the recently announced Black Creators Funding Initiative to the unmistakably Bi single “Bad At Love” hitting #5 on Billboard, she’s making sure the message is heard: I exist, I matter, and so do you. (Emillie Marvel)
Darby Crash, Germs
Self-destructive, nihilistic, cynical, and all-sneer, L.A.’s Darby Crash (aka Bobby Pyn, aka Jan Paul Beahm) is the very definition of a punk icon—to an almost stereotypical degree. He burst out of the Los Angeles underground in the late ’70s, scorched brightly and then crashed and burned under the most tragic of circumstances when he OD’d in 1980. Both looking and behaving like a mutant hybrid of Iggy Pop and Sid Vicious, Crash was the violent yet charming face of the brilliant Germs (the same band that gave us Foo Fighters/Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear), and the voice on equally excellent genre classics such as “Lexicon Devil.” Only those closest to him knew that he was gay while he was alive, as he chose to remain in the closet. But songs like “The Other Newest One” allowed him an outlet:
“My eyes meet yours in secret glance, Our bodies locked in ancient stance, You whisper something and I know it’s good, You’re acting crazy just like I knew you would.” (Brett Callwood)
Lynn Gunn shares her story so you can too. The frontwoman of PVRIS is full of energy and honesty. After coming out to her family, before leaving for her first tour, she’s spent her time in the industry creating an inclusive experience at PVRIS shows. Portions of the band’s ticket sales have been donated to LGBT charities and when you walk in the door you’re greeted with a community of people who are normalizing being (and loving) whoever the f#ck you want. (Emillie Marvel)
Let’s be real, we need more people like Taylor Hughes in the world. The number of pop-punk womxn drummers out there is slim and Hughes takes on that role like a champ. She blows us away drumming for EXNATIONS, creating music that is empowering and emotional. She is proudly queer and undoubtedly punk as hell. Recently, she spoke out about her own story as a part of the black community and EXNATIONS, and has made donations towards New York protestors who are posting bail. It’s easy to see that Hughes will make an impact in the scene and we can’t wait to watch it all unfold. (Maddi Myers)
Ryan Skyy is a six time #1 Billboard-charting producer/songwriter, DJ, and host of idobi Radio’s very own Life Rhythms. Basically: Wherever Skyy is, you want to be there. His talent for music has no boundaries, but then he turns around and goes even further on Life Rhythms. He takes songs that have influenced his life and uses them to inspire and encourage others. Ryan has a true grasp for how music shapes us and he uses his platform to spread hope and uplift others. (Maddi Myers)
Internet sensation turned sultry pop songstress Rebecca Black owns every room she walks into. Put on any of her songs and you’ll wanna dance—whether it’s a full on club banger or a slow sway to the beat. She’s long been an LGBTQIA ally and gay icon but her coming out story is only just getting started. Black has always been open about her experiences growing up in the spotlight and using her voice to make a difference. She uses her platforms to raise awareness of the issues close to her heart and mixes them with plenty of fun & laughs—not to mention mixing up the bops at DJ nights. She’s totally our “Sweetheart” and, as she celebrates her first Pride as an openly queer person, we’re raising a glass to her and cheering her on. (Alex Bear)
Whether you’ve been in the scene for years or for a few minutes, chances are you’ll have stomped along to the beat of Jess Bowen. She’s an absolute monster on the drums, commanding the stage and your heartbeat with relentless passion. From The Summer Set to Nekokat to touring with 3OH!3 or performing with Charli XCX, she’s been around the world and back—and she’s got endless wisdom to drop along with the beat. Catch her on idobi Radio, charming everyone with her Babes Behind the Beats show, running the school of rock with Think TEI, or letting her Pride flag fly—because wherever she goes, love, sunshine, and heart-pounding music follow.
Jon Ginoli, Pansy Division
Spurred on by the likes of ’80s queercore pioneers the Dicks and Big Boys, San Francisco’s Pansy Division took the baton in the early ’90s and ran like hell with it. Back then, openly gay punks were still not particularly commonplace, but Pansy Division made it their business to fuck with the status quo. Jon Ginoli’s tunes were not necessarily romantic love songs, but they sank their teeth into the subject of gay sex with glorious joy and wild abandon. In 2020, that might not sound particularly revolutionary but back in the ’90s, their approach was incendiary. Key to their development was a ‘94 arena tour with Green Day; a number of owners and managers wanted to keep Pansy Division out of their venue, but Green Day insisted that their tour-mates stay on the bill or they would walk too. So Ginoli was able to sing his gay anthems to enormo-domes full of teens, and maybe help some kids feel less alone. They’re still going strong; the Quite Contrary album dropped in 2016, as Ginoli continues to offer gay punks the world over music that they can relate to. (Brett Callwood)
Courtney Coles rocks this sh!t. As a filmmaker & photographer, she makes personal and connected art; beautifully rendered realness that’s filled with tactile emotion. As a founder, she co-created To The Front, a photo show featuring women and non-binary creatives in the music industry. In activism she hosts panels that illuminate the racism festering beneath the surface of our scene. At the same time she reps queer pride with heart. And when she walks into a room the lights come on. Courtney Coles is freaking stellar…with a fist held high and a rainbow flag flying. (Sherin Nicole)
Turn the speakers up and let John-Allison “A.W.” Weiss speak to your soul. Their indie pop “sad songs for fun times” are filled with the truth—their truth—that they speak without holding back. Weiss lives & breathes the DIY lifestyle, designing their own merch, creating a collective home for all their projects, and keeping their fans close with secret songs and revelations. They’ve documented their transition to a queer non-binary trans boy with fabulous grace and words of wisdom you wish everyone could hear. They’ve long been leading the LGBTQIA community and they’ve long had our hearts—whether it’s behind a mic or on social media, they’re ready to speak up & rock out with you. (Alex Bear)
Tom Cheney, a (un)retired activist & Post Modern Queer, combined his passion for music with his intelligence and tech abilities to bring you idobi Radio. #punkAF Tom is one of the biggest supporters of the Pop Punk scene. By supporter we mean “support” like how your house has a foundation that supports it—we could have a Pop Punk scene without Tom Cheney but it wouldn’t be as good of a scene. This is what makes Tom a Jedi (if you’ve ever met one) who uses the force for good, making idobi queer friendly & inclusive for all no matter how they identify or who they love. (Sarah Madden)
“Too gay for the punk scene, too punk for the gay world?” Nah, we want it all and Vaginal Davis gives it to us. Artist, queercore musician, zine editor, filmmaker, punk icon, Black femme futurist, and beyond; Dr Davis is every womxn. She has no problem making it clear that the main progenitors of the LA Punk scene were “first of all women and queers”. That was in the 70s and she’s still getting it done, y’all. In 2015 she shared a collection of sculptures in her own Invisible-Exports art exhibit. From her familial origins in what she calls a “druid wiccan witches’ coven,” to fronting The Afro Sisters to being extolled in the The New York Times: When you lift your voice to shoutout Vaginal Davis as ‘Thee Iconoclastic Punk Icon’ not a single breath is wasted. Say it again and say it loud. (Sherin Nicole)