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nowt as queer as folk concert

The Sandman 10 May 10 - 03:41 PM
GUEST 10 May 10 - 04:03 PM
Vic Smith 10 May 10 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,Stephen W 10 May 10 - 05:15 PM
The Awkward Recruit 10 May 10 - 05:55 PM
Ruth Archer 10 May 10 - 06:02 PM
buddhuu 11 May 10 - 05:28 AM
The Sandman 11 May 10 - 06:27 AM
Banjiman 11 May 10 - 06:30 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 11 May 10 - 06:40 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 11 May 10 - 06:48 AM
Ralphie 11 May 10 - 07:11 AM
The Sandman 11 May 10 - 07:42 AM
Anne Lister 11 May 10 - 07:53 AM
GUEST,Martin Ellison 11 May 10 - 08:06 AM
The Sandman 11 May 10 - 08:30 AM
Gervase 11 May 10 - 08:40 AM
The Sandman 11 May 10 - 09:50 AM
Suegorgeous 11 May 10 - 09:51 AM
Ruth Archer 11 May 10 - 10:03 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 May 10 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,anon 11 May 10 - 10:54 AM
GUEST,Gloria 11 May 10 - 12:21 PM
The Sandman 11 May 10 - 01:05 PM
Mavis Enderby 11 May 10 - 01:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 May 10 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,another anon 11 May 10 - 02:00 PM
The Sandman 11 May 10 - 02:07 PM
greg stephens 11 May 10 - 02:11 PM
greg stephens 11 May 10 - 02:19 PM
The Sandman 11 May 10 - 02:32 PM
greg stephens 11 May 10 - 02:35 PM
Surreysinger 11 May 10 - 02:38 PM
selby 11 May 10 - 02:43 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 May 10 - 02:58 PM
Ruth Archer 11 May 10 - 03:27 PM
The Sandman 11 May 10 - 03:51 PM
Ruth Archer 11 May 10 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,anon 11 May 10 - 04:21 PM
The Sandman 11 May 10 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,guest - jim younger 11 May 10 - 11:17 PM
Ruth Archer 12 May 10 - 03:08 AM
Andy Jackson 12 May 10 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,c.g. 12 May 10 - 06:08 AM
The Sandman 12 May 10 - 06:42 AM
greg stephens 12 May 10 - 07:11 AM
Mr Red 12 May 10 - 07:33 AM
The Sandman 12 May 10 - 08:19 AM
matt milton 12 May 10 - 09:43 AM
greg stephens 12 May 10 - 10:57 AM
The Sandman 12 May 10 - 12:35 PM
GUEST 12 May 10 - 02:39 PM
mauvepink 12 May 10 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,Gloria 13 May 10 - 11:54 AM
Bonzo3legs 13 May 10 - 02:08 PM
matt milton 14 May 10 - 03:34 AM
Dave the Gnome 14 May 10 - 04:10 AM
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Subject: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 May 10 - 03:41 PM

what does being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender have to do with playing music?
ok, all these groups play music, but doesnt this become something that excludes all the performers who dont fall into this category.
music should be something that is judged on its merits,the sexual preference of performers,should not be the reason why performers get asked or not asked to play at a concert,whether those performers are hetro sexual or bisexual or homosexual or trans gender.
is the next concert going to be one that celebrates heterosexual performers?
peopes sexual preferences should not have any bearing on whether they get musical work,that should be decided on the quality of their music.
was this organised by the EFDSS?


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 10 - 04:03 PM

was this organised by the EFDSS?
No, but it generated a lot of interest and apparently - we were out of the country at the time - was a great success.

It has also generated a really interesting debate on sexuality and performing at http://froots.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=5230 which, largely, has developed without recourse to insult.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Vic Smith
Date: 10 May 10 - 04:08 PM

Whoops - not logged in - so the above will be deleted so:-

was this organised by the EFDSS?
No, but it generated a lot of interest and apparently - we were out of the country at the time - was a great success.

It has also generated a really interesting debate on sexuality and performing at http://froots.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=5230   which, largely, has developed without recourse to insult.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: GUEST,Stephen W
Date: 10 May 10 - 05:15 PM

I attended and had a great time thanks. I'm gay and it was nice to have a gig dedicated to gay folkies. It was a long day too, I didn't leave until after 11.00 pm. It was a bit cold for Pimms on the lawn but we managed anyway.

Stephen W

(Trying to be sophisticated..)


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: The Awkward Recruit
Date: 10 May 10 - 05:55 PM

I was also at the concert. I'm straight but enjoyed it immensely. I would have appreciated the music whatever the sexual preferences of the performers, and of course normally their sexuality should not affect their bookings.

However, the concert was the final one in a series of Folk against Fascism events that took place last week. These were designed to show Nick Griffin and his supporters, who have been attempting to hi-jack folk music, that the scene is inclusive of all the diverse groups who make up Britain today. For example, the day before's concert at the South Bank included African, Asian, Turkish and travellor performers.

The conceert was also very moving, as some of the performers told their stories of the prejudice they had encountered in their lives.

Maureen Musson


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 10 May 10 - 06:02 PM

Like events dedicated to the work of, say, Black and Minority Ethnic performers, such concerts give a visibility to the artists who fall into this category, and help those artists to unite the two halves of themselves: the musician and the person. If you think this is unnecessary, perhaps you should have been at the concert and heard Tim Van Eyken's incredibly moving observations about this.

"is the next concert going to be one that celebrates heterosexual performers?"

One could argue that the majority of concerts actually celebrate heterosexual performers, and heterosexual songs. After all, many folk songs are about male-female love, relationships, and shagging. Why should gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered artists not have the chance to celebrate their own relationships and sexuality in the same way?

In a perfect world, of course, gay and lesbian people would be able to sing songs which celebrate their sexuality within a regular folk concert and the audience would not bat an eyelid. Sadly, that's not quite where we are in the folk world, so until that day comes, it seems rahter churlish, if not even somewhat bigoted, to begrudge GLBT folk singers and musicians one single concert.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: buddhuu
Date: 11 May 10 - 05:28 AM

I sort of see the OP's point (at least, what I hope was his point).

While events that promote understanding and tolerance are great, there may be a slight risk that some of them serve to reinforce perceptions of difference. Perhaps perpetuating an us-and-them artificial separateness.

If the point is to celebrate those differences, and specifically to highlight the contribution made by that group, then fair enough. Unfortunately we are surrounded by knobheads who do not celebrate variety, and who are hostile to anything that doesn't conform to their template, which is where the risk comes into it.

If the point is to advance the acceptance of all colours, flavours, orientations etc etc, then perhaps that aim might be served by promoting events that include everyone. Thus at a gay/lesbian event, have performers who are gay, bi, straight and all stations between. The point of the exercise, namely the promotion of acceptance of a spectrum of sexual preferences, would be served, but with the active inclusion of everyone. It would be more a living, breathing example of acceptance and unity than an event where only one group was allowed to perform.

I think I've probably explained my thinking pretty badly...

Events where all performers are a member of the group whose interests are to be promoted are fine, and I support them. Just saying, maybe they miss an opportunity.

[/£0.02]


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 10 - 06:27 AM

my point is that performers should get bookings regardless of sexual inclination,that bookings should be decided purely on musical merit.
Ruth,I am not begrudging any performers anything,I am questioning the logic behind putting on a concert that excludes hetrosexual performers,if an organiser does that it is perfectly logical,that a case can be argued for excluding any performer becuase they do not fit in to a certain sexual or ethnic category.
I will play devils advocate for one minute,if you do exclude one group because they are heterosexual,then a logical argument can be made for excluding black white gay or trans gender or anything else.
my opinion is that their should be no prejudice against anyone because of their sexuality or colour etc.
I think it would have been a better idea to have included hetrosexauls in the concert as well.
" I sort of see the OP's point (at least, what I hope was his point).

While events that promote understanding and tolerance are great, there may be a slight risk that some of them serve to reinforce perceptions of difference. Perhaps perpetuating an us-and-them artificial separateness"
yes that was one of my points


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 May 10 - 06:30 AM

Dick,

This is one concert....... with undoubtedly positive aims.

I really can't see any harm in it. Only good.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 11 May 10 - 06:40 AM

Wasn't the gig associated to FAF?

Apart from anything else, as such, it would seem to represent a fully appropriate response to some of the issues surrounding the BNP's (not really known for their celebration of homosexuality) attempted annexing of traditional music?


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 11 May 10 - 06:48 AM

"a logical argument can be made for excluding black white gay or trans gender or anything else."

You could make this argument Dick - and I imagine an all male choir would agree with you if, for example, I as a woman wanted to join them :)


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Ralphie
Date: 11 May 10 - 07:11 AM

I'm just sorry I couldn't make the gig...
Looked like a great line-up.
Hope it went well.
Hats off to all.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 10 - 07:42 AM

Crow Sister,I do not accept that any group should be exclusive whether they are male morris teams or male choirs,
neither do I begrudge anybody an opportunity to perform,however integration is best achieved[imo] by hetrosexual performers performing along with other sexually orientated performers this demonstrates solidarity and support from hetrosexual performers.it helps to reinforce the message that sexuality is an irrelevance
would it not have shown more solidarity,if heterosexual performers such as Martin Carthy ,and John Kirkpatrick, Dave Swarbrick,had been performing with the Non heterosexual performers.
Banjiman,any event may do good BUT,it has to be considered whether it is open to improvement,in my opinion more good would have been done, more solidarity wouldhasve been shown if this had been titled differently and had also included the most well known hetrosexual performers.
Ruth Archer many folk songs are also industrial,fishing ,agricultural,they are not just about "shagging".
   I didnt notice Gloria amongst the booked guests.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Anne Lister
Date: 11 May 10 - 07:53 AM

All the performers perform amongst hetero people in the normal way of things, as you would hope and expect, so it wouldn't achieve much to have just another of those gigs. I wasn't able to get to the concert myself but think it was a great idea to highlight an aspect of folk that isn't always obvious (as someone said above, as trad folk and nearly all love songs within any folk event I've attended emphasise heterosexual relationships). Well done to the organisers, and to whoever designed the wonderful poster.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: GUEST,Martin Ellison
Date: 11 May 10 - 08:06 AM

Heterosexual and "non heterosexual" (Good Soldier Schweik)? The vocabulary doesn't display much of an agenda for inclusiveness.

And, while I'm here, surely ALL other concerts don't differentiate. It was a one off (so far) and I congratulate all involved. I wish I could have been there.

I've been at festivals where concerts were advertised as stricly female performers or male, or youngsters, or all the same instrument. It's no big deal, just shows a different perspective although I'll concede that the NAQAF concert was for raising a particular profile.

Martin


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 10 - 08:30 AM

Iam not responsible for the vocabulary of the English Langauge[someof you will say thank god for that]
I am trying to offer constructive critism for future events,I dont doubt that the standard of music was high.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Gervase
Date: 11 May 10 - 08:40 AM

I don't see it as constructive criticism.
It's been explained that the gig was organised as part of the FaF events, and was deliberately designed to showcase the diversity that exists within folk/roots/trad music. To have done this with a mixed set of performers without drawing attention to the fact that some were lesbian, gay or whatever, would have diluted the concept to the point where it would have been just another gig.
As it was, it was an effective way of letting the outside world know that folk is an inclusive genre, and of showing a little pride. Or should that be Pride? ;-) I would have liked to have been there, even as a 'non-hetrosexual'


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 10 - 09:50 AM

sorry Gervase,we will have to agree to disagree,[imo] the best way to have shown support for gay lesbians trans genders,would have been to include some of the leading heterosexual performers,performing alongside them ,thus showing solidarity and lack of prejudice,and demonstrating inclusiveness rather than exclusiveness.
the concert culd still clearly have been categorised as a support for non hetrosexuals/transgenders,with perhaps a different title or even the same title.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 11 May 10 - 09:51 AM

Can't we just say gay and non-gay? :)


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 May 10 - 10:03 AM

for heaven's sake, Dick. It was a showcase of gay, lesbian and transgendered artists. If there's a showcase of black artists, should there be white artists included so that it doesn't "discriminate"? If there's a concert of American artists, should it include British artists so that it doesn't "discriminate"? If there's a banjo concert, should there always be some melodeons? If there's a concert of performers from Devon, should there be representatives of all the other counties in England as well so that it doesn't discriminate? If there's a drag show, should it also include several women? It's ridiculous.

It's just one themed concert. As has been pointed out on the fRoots discussion, there are gay events all over this country all the time, from Pride festivals to gigs, cabaret shows...it's just taken folk a bit longer to catch up.

The event was about a number of artists making a very clear statement about who they are. The fact that someone on the fRoots board thought, from looking at the guest list, that some of the artists involved WERE straight, indicates how low-key their sexuality usually is for many of these people.

I was in the audience. I certainly did not feel discriminated against - I felt I was there in solidarity with my gay, lesbian and transgendered friends. And we all, performers and audience, sang Glad to be Gay at the end. Hurrah.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 May 10 - 10:40 AM

Staging such events, for any minority group, is indeed perfectly acceptable. There is no point staging events for purely strait or mixed artists - That is done every day in every place that folk music is played! Why turn a perfectly good showcase which highlights the talents of a specific group of artists into a normal everyday event?

It is difficult to find that right balance and I can understand what Dick means but a concert put on by exclusively gay people, for anyone to attend, is a far cry from concerts of old where black people were not allowed at all! I think There is a line between possitive and negative discrimination and if someone does not understand where that line is it must be difficult for them to grasp. And, believe me, I have struggled once or twice in the past!

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: GUEST,anon
Date: 11 May 10 - 10:54 AM

If I may just pop my head up in this thread just to make a slight correction?

Much is being said about people's sexual orientations and it may be worth pointing out that transsexuality is not a sexuailty issue but a gender one. People of all genders have a sexuality but having a gender is being mixed up here a bit with sexuality. Historically it seems that 'transgender' has been linked in with homosexuality because many gay people have accepted it far earlier than mainstream society. But even the word transgender is a cover all word used to cover a wide range of persons and differing subjects.

As regards the concert. Great idea! Just as would a concert that was arranged for disabled folkies and people from BME backgrounds. Celebrate the diversity. Embrace it. Then enbrace each other! We are all the same inside (with the exception of a few bit and pieces)

anon


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: GUEST,Gloria
Date: 11 May 10 - 12:21 PM

(Referring to GS Schweik's post above) - No i wasnt there,wasnt asked and hadnt even heard about it until after it happened.I agree that Tim Van Eycken's response which I read on the fRoots forum was well expressed.I dont think they had any transgendered acts on.but the motivation for doing the concert seems sound to me - fair play to them,and respect for those acts who had the bottle to out themselves.
Personally, I couldnt care less whether someone is gay or not - to sit scrutinising someone,wondering if theyre gay,as some still do, seems childish.yes,its the music that matters - but clearly,they were trying to make a point about folk music, and challenging its appropriation by groups like the BNP
i played at Holmfirth this weekend though - a half-hour spot at the (pretty rowdy) Cricket Club.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 10 - 01:05 PM

it would seem we all agree that the merit of the musician should be the deciding factor in whether someone gets booked,regardless of their colour sexual orientation,or whether they are trans gender.
We appear to disagree about how is the best way to achieve those aims,I still maintain that an inclusive concert which expresses solidarity with all members of the uk folk scene regardless of anything but musical merit,would have been a more appropriate way to celebrate inclusiveness.
Ruth,the fact that other organisations mistakenly believe that by putting on exclusive showcases they are achieving the breaking down of barriers is not proven.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 11 May 10 - 01:13 PM

I've no major issues with the concert at all, but this statement by Ruth Archer made me think:

"In a perfect world, of course, gay and lesbian people would be able to sing songs which celebrate their sexuality within a regular folk concert and the audience would not bat an eyelid. Sadly, that's not quite where we are in the folk world"

Is that entirely true? If it's a good song well performed I think it would be well appreciated by many, and may even serve to reduce intolerance and open some minds. Tom Robinson's Glad to be Gay was mentioned above, I think his 1979 performance of it at the Secret Policemans Ball is an excellent example.


Pete.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 May 10 - 01:33 PM

Lots of love songs don't actually specify the gender of the people involved.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: GUEST,another anon
Date: 11 May 10 - 02:00 PM

It's really hard being gay sometimes. Often you feel isolated and different- whether in the folk world or otherwise - and going to an event like this makes all the difference. Makes you feel more OK about yourself and part of something easy and where you don't feel just that little bit odd.

Just wanted to say that, and to thank the actually very brave people for putting it on.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 10 - 02:07 PM

yes, very good point ,anon.
if all of you re read my posts,I think you will find that I did not say that the concert was a bad idea, but that a more inclusive concert was a better idea


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 May 10 - 02:11 PM

Great idea this concert. Glad it happened. Maybe in some utopian perfect future such things will not be necessary, but we are not there yet. Not by a long chalk. So more power to the organisers.
Let's face it, Good Soldier Schweik supports an organisation that discriminates on grounds of ethnicity/nationality (Comhaltas). And why shouldn't it? There is surely nothing much wrong with the occasional celebration of diversity.
By the by, may I endorse Kevin McGrath's observation about songs not specifiying the gender of the participants. Ruth Archer equates shagging/love songs with hetreosexuality. It ain't necessarily so.

As I went out one May morning,
One May morning betime,
I met a maid from home had strayed,
Just as the sun did shine

What makes you rise so soon, my dear,
Your journey to pursue?
Your pretty little feet they tread so sweet,
Strike off the morning dew.

I'm going to feed my Father's flock,
His young and tender lambs,
That over hills and over dales
Lie waiting for their dams.

O stay! O stay! you handsome maid,
And rest a moment here,
For there is none but you alone
That I do love so dear.

How gloriously the sun doth shine,
How pleasant is the air;
I'd rather rest on a true love's breast
Than any other where.

For I am thine and thou art rnine;
No man shall uncomfort thee.
We'll join our hands in wedded bands
And married we will be.

Interpret this just exactly how you like:nowadays people of the same sex can get married(more or less, legally, and certainly in common parlance anyway).


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 May 10 - 02:19 PM

A gay school boy has just been battered and stabbed to death in a park near Glasgow. While this sort of thing goes on, we still desperately need events like this concert. I'm sorry, I seriously disagree with Dick Miles on this.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 10 - 02:32 PM

Greg,you have clearly not read my posts carefully.
on the subject of Comhaltas,you are really off the wall,I have many ctricisms of the organisation,but any person regardless of nationality sex, sexual inclination trans gender, colour is allowed to take part in their competitions,providing they play Irish music,and pay their fee.
Comhaltas has many failings [ther most important being their treatment of the clontarf branch],but they do not discriminate on the basis of colour or sexual inclination or transsexuality,you pay your money and you abandon hope.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 May 10 - 02:35 PM

You missed my point, GSS. Comhaltas disciminates on behalf of Irish music. The English Country Music Weekend discriminates in favour of melodeon players churning out polkas all day. Fine, I am quite relaxed about that. Maybe you should be a little more relaxed about gay or transgender concerts.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Surreysinger
Date: 11 May 10 - 02:38 PM

Guest Gloria "I dont think they had any transgendered acts on."

I wasn't there - distance and various other factors precluded that(shame because the lineup sounds as though it was a really good night - and the comments from one or two of the artists and guests who attended support that) .... but I am aware of at least two people who were on the bill who would fit that category.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: selby
Date: 11 May 10 - 02:43 PM

intrestingly there was one act on who i did not know was gay I thought he was a stromg support of freedom of all types so genuinely have i missed something?


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 May 10 - 02:58 PM

I rewrote the first verse of 'The Nightingale' nto fit in better with the dicussion. Just by way of a little light relief you understand!

As I was a walking, a rambling one day
I spied a young couple, so sweet did they stray
One was a soldier, a brave grenadier
The other was a sailor, I think they were queer.

OK, ok. I will get my coat...

DeG


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 May 10 - 03:27 PM

Actually, Tim Van Eyken's singing of Bold Fisherman is a beautiful love song, and I definitely see it as a homoerotic reading of the song, but there are lots of instances of people singing against gender in folk music, so it's not necessarily going to be the received interpretation by everyone.

"If it's a good song well performed I think it would be well appreciated by many, and may even serve to reduce intolerance and open some minds."

Much as I'd like to believe this is the case, I know people in the folk community (several men in their 60s) who have a real issue with homosexuality, and who would really struggle in a concert where an artist's gayness was overt and being referred to in song. One of them told me recently that he probably will no longer go to see someone whose music he used to love, but who has recently come out as transgendered. So I think there are issues.

Re transgender and sexuality: indeed - all the men I have ever known who changed their gender still fancied women. It's a completely different issue from sexuality.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 10 - 03:51 PM

Greg,you should relax a little and re read my posts,I am relaxed about gay and trans gender concerts,I suggested that it might be a better idea to be more inclusive in the future ,that does not mean that I disapprove of the concert,I think that a more inclusive concert is a better idea.,but that does not mean I disapprove of the concert
I really dont see why you have to link my name to a young lads death in Glasgow,I am strongly against anyone being beaten up and killed regardless of their colour sexuality or anything else.
finally what evidence is there that concerts like this do prevent young gay men from being killed,I agree that concerts like this make minorites feel less isolated ,and I agree that is good,it sounds like it was a good concert and I am pleased people enjoyed it.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 May 10 - 04:09 PM

"I suggested that it might be a better idea to be more inclusive in the future"

To carry through the Comhaltas analogy, does that mean that every Comhaltas concert, especially those here in England, should include a proportion of English musicians playing English music?


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: GUEST,anon
Date: 11 May 10 - 04:21 PM

"Re transgender and sexuality: indeed - all the men I have ever known who changed their gender still fancied women. It's a completely different issue from sexuality"

Do you mean all the persons who were identified as men when they were born still fancied women after transitioning into their true gender?

Please do not forget that there are male to female and female to male transsexuals. Many of those who transition live very straight lives, some are bisexual and some are gay. Just like genetic men and women!

I, personally, have not come up against any direct discriminiation or bigotry to my face at any folk concert or club I have attended. I have sung all sorts of material, some of it 'transgendered' to rapturous applause. What I have found generally is people being supportive. That does not mean some do not struggle with their own issues. In general I get asked all sorts of questions which I answer as honest as I can.

Those likely to ask me honest questions and offer support, of course, are not rare or unusual. The ones with the problems are more likely not to approach me at all and distance themselves. I have been in compant where I have ben shocked when people, being totally normal with and around me, have come out with some terribly bigoted statement about gays or blacks! It always shocks me that there is a deepoer undercurrent of ignorance (being kind) out there.

Concerts such as the above can only go some way toward showing true acceptance, allowing minorities a voice and stage on which to express it, allow for education to those who are a little lost on the subject, and to also give a big 'hello' to those who live in shadows of fear frightened to come out. I commend such efforts.

I keep stressing that most people are not malicious or nasty. I truly believe that. But some are confused or truly ignorant and want to know more.

One man I used to see often once had a 'private talk' with me. He was worried. "Thing is I like you so much as a person, respect you as a woman, and love your songs. But how can I like you as I do when I know you used to be a man?". His own insecurities were messing him about a bit but he was being honest. His mistake, I told him, was to be thinking of me as some ex-man. My advice. Know amd like the person you like as the person they are. No need to expand on it at all.

Accept the person as the individual they are. Such a simple principle that so many struggle with. People make mistakes and, as long as it is not malicious or nasty, so what? I make mistakes all the time!

Thanks for listening by the way

anon


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 10 - 06:44 PM

Ruth Archer,aka J Crump,
unfortunately I do not run Comhaltas,but if I did the first thing I would deal with, would be the Clontarf issue.
Comhaltas state quite clearly what it is they are about.[the promotion of Irish music and culture]
Nowt so Queer as folk concert states quite clearly that it is part of Folk against Fascism.
I am sure this was a very good concert,and it provided a lot of comfort and camaraderie for the performers and gave a lot of enjoyment to the audience.
Whether it was the best way to show solidarity in showing opposition to members of the BNP or FASCISM is debatable,and that is precisely what I am trying to discuss.
I am saying that I think it would have been a more effective protest if it had contained members of the folk scene including leading lights regardless of sexuality or being trans gender ,this would have shown a broad support across the whole spectrum of the UK folk scene.
do you understand me?I am not condemning the concert,merely sugesting an alternative to be considered for the future.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: GUEST,guest - jim younger
Date: 11 May 10 - 11:17 PM

GSS wrote: "it would seem we all agree that the merit of the musician should be the deciding factor in whether someone gets booked"

Not sure if I can agree with this statement, because I don't quite understand the point about "merit". Given the limited number of paid gigs and the plethora of competent - and occasionally inspired -musicians on the 'folk scene', how can this work? Is there a clear hierarchy of "merit", where musicians are in some kind of struggle for survival, decided by market forces?

Can we say always say, for example, that concertina player X is of greater musical merit than musical saw player Y? How can we tell? And if we do decide that X is better there may still be a night when we're gagging for the musical saw ... and only a saw will do.

(Sorry, it's late - or early - not sure which.)

But I think the show was a grand idea - and it needed to focus on its constituency to make its political point. Booking a so-called heterosexual concertina (or saw) player into the show would have nullified its raison d'etre - which was QUEER, rather than normative.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 12 May 10 - 03:08 AM

Dick, I think your point would have validity if it were the ONLY event that represented FAF that week. As it happens, there were lots. The whole point of FAF is that it is not a top-down organisation - anyone who belongs to FAF can create their own events which, to them, contribute to what FAF stands for. FAF itself has only organised two of the dozens of FAF-branded events that have taken place over that past year. In the case of Nowt So Queer, a gay folk artist collaborated with EFDSS to put together an event from his own perspective, which is what FAF was all about.

If we take as our starting point that the BNP are Nazis in suits (and I do) then concerts organised to celebrate sectors of UK society (and members of our own folk community) who would be persecuted should the FarRight ever gain power is absolutely within the FAF remit. The day before, as part of the FAF Village Fete, there was a concert celebrating folk artists from outside of the usual White British folk constituency - gypsies, Africans, Asians, Muslims...you get the picture. That concert also had a very specific message and agenda.

So to sum up, don't see Nowt So Queer as somehow exclusive because it was a very narrow event with which to deliver the FAF message; see it as one of dozens of events within FAF week which ALL celebrated the openness and inclusiveness of the UK folk scene, albeit in different ways.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 12 May 10 - 03:52 AM

Well said Ruth, as usual.
Seems like a great idea in a series of events to show those T***s, the BNP, what the real world is about.
There is of course no reason why Dick can't organise his own concert to make the point in his own way.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: GUEST,c.g.
Date: 12 May 10 - 06:08 AM

There were so many people on this concert (actually two concerts - afternoon and evening) that some people only had time for one song.

If one or more non-LGBT artists had been included, some one or more people would have had to be left out.

As it was the concert over-ran slightly (!)


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 May 10 - 06:42 AM

so, for the record,I did not say the concert was a bad idea,it was clearly a success,so well done to the organisers.
Greg Stephens is not in disagreement with me, because I never said it was a bad idea.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: greg stephens
Date: 12 May 10 - 07:11 AM

On the contrary Mr Schweik, your first post that opened this thread suggested that the concert was a very bad idea. In case you can't remember what you said, it was this:

"what does being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender have to do with playing music?
ok, all these groups play music, but doesnt this become something that excludes all the performers who dont fall into this category."

That seems to me to be an unequivocal condemnation of the concert. I totally welcome it. We disagree. No big deal, why shouldn't we?


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Mr Red
Date: 12 May 10 - 07:33 AM

Folk is inclusive. This does not appear to be.
I would avoid it on the grounds that it is not participation, but being elitist would put me off too.
If it was a ceilidh I might be there, but only to advertise my lack of prejudice (we all have them - I dislike BMW drivers), and to advertise my endeavours like http://stroudceilidhs.co.uk.

We were at a ceilidh recently that clearly included a gay couple who were an item, no one (that I noticed) showed any negative vibes. Well I say that - many expected EC (English Ceilidh) and it was a Playford Ball. Now what was I saying about prejudice? Hmmm - I surprised myself by liking it! Such opinion were was not universal in this.

Anyway, Folk is such a minority it can only be detrimental to segment further. Were they trad gay folk, or modern gay folk? It makes a difference - don't ya know?


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 May 10 - 08:19 AM

Greg,Please do not quote sections of my post out of context.this is what i said.
what does being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender have to do with playing music?
ok, all these groups play music, but doesnt this become something that excludes all the performers who dont fall into this category.
music should be something that is judged on its merits,the sexual preference of performers,should not be the reason why performers get asked or not asked to play at a concert,whether those performers are hetro sexual or bisexual or homosexual or trans gender.
is the next concert going to be one that celebrates heterosexual performers?
peopes sexual preferences should not have any bearing on whether they get musical work,that should be decided on the quality of their music.
was this organised by the EFDSS?
    that makes it clear that I do not think that performers should be excluded because of their sexual orientation or because they are trans gender.
I have at no point said that I thought the concert was a bad idea,what I am saying is that a concert that includes heterosexuals playing alongside non hetrosexuals and transgenders would have been a better idea,and I have explained my reasons why.
you can interpret my post how you like,but you can not accuse me of saying something I did not.
your remarks about Comhaltas are silly,Comhaltas promotes IRISH MUSIC but it does not prevent anyone entering its competitions who is not irish neither does it discriminate on sexual or transgender grounds


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: matt milton
Date: 12 May 10 - 09:43 AM

The funny thing about the whole gig was that, with the exception of two of the performers (who, I think, are bi but currently in heterosexual relationships), I had no idea about the sexuality of the performers. I still don't, in a sense: I don't know if the majority of the performers were gay, some are bi, or some are straight. I only have the word of some people in this thread that all the performers were homosexual. Did any of them have accompanists? Were the accompanists gay?

Ultimately, I'd say the inclusivity was inherent. I'd find it hard to credit anyone who might claim to have felt 'excluded' from the event: I'd go so far as to say they have a problem.

Of the names Dick suggested who might have also appeared, to show solidarity, I only "know" the sexuality of Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick - I'd have to take Dick's word for Dave Swarbrick's heterosexuality, as I know nothing about his non-musical life (other than the fact he once had a serious accident). But can Dick be sure that neither of those three have ever 'dabbled', or never experienced any kind of homosexual crush? Who knows!

I thought it was a great idea for an event - about time. It is, I grant you, absurd that we should still have to hold events like this. But sadly we do.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: greg stephens
Date: 12 May 10 - 10:57 AM

GSS: you are absolutely right about everything. I will never agin query anything you say.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 May 10 - 12:35 PM

Greg,I question many things,that does not mean I am against them ,I like to be able to discuss and listen to other peoples points of views.
I think discussions such as this one are important.
I would have no problem sharing a stage with Gloria or any other trans gender,in fact I once shared a bedroom with her in her old persona,and if I had to share a bedroom again I would, she is a decent and interesting person.
unfortunately I am not always right about things,neither am I always a good judge of peoples character ,I try and find the best in people and occasionally I make wrong judgements.
I was extremely shocked and disturbed recently,when someone I thought I knew well,was charged with downloading child pornography,I realised I did not know them at all,and am still trying to come to terms with it.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 10 - 02:39 PM

I was at this concert and thought it a wonderful event on several levels.

First - the music was excellent.
Second - having an openly gay event is a good measure of how far we have come in recent years. I think that this was particularly important to Roy Bailey who was instrumental in the early Gay Liberation movement and it was wonderful to hear him talk so movingly about what it meant to him. Let us remember that folk music has always had a very important role in political history
And thirdly - as an ordinary gay man (and perhaps only gay men and women would understand this) that also happens to like folk music this event was very important. It is a truism that for the majority of us gay folk (excuse the pun) 'coming out' is something we have to do not once, but time and time again. For me, a quite person who prefers to keep his private life private, this is often embarrasing, but quite necessary. Inevitably when you join any kind of social group at some point people ask about partners, kids etc. and I have to have 'the conversation' again. Friends have often asked why joining a gay walking group, or attending a gay event is so important, but for me it is one of the few times where I can be with a group of people that do not expect me to be heterosexual.

It was a great evening of great music. Did it matter that those on stage were gay or straight? Not in the grand scheme of things, but I'm bloody glad that I live in a society that such an event is possible, and that we can have a healthy discussion about it afterwards.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: mauvepink
Date: 12 May 10 - 02:58 PM

Well said GUEST @ 12 May 10 - 02:39 PM

I have been following this thread with interest. For the people who have automatic inclusion in things by sense of majority I suppose it can be difficult to understand the feeling of being included when you are outside of that majority (whatever the 'thing' is, be it colour, caste, sexuality, gender, disability, ect..).

So, to have an event that celebrates your interests and gives you complete inclusion alongside the majority of others is a wonderful thing. To be able to 'show case' the talents that minorities have too, and bring it all together in one event, to me is a way of saying "Here I am. There is far more to me than just my colour, my caste, my sexuality, my gender, my disability... See! I am just like you in so many other ways and only different in one!"

The whole concept is wonderfully appealing and makes tha ground far more level than previous for all comers.

I am sorry I was not there but I do congratulate the organsiers for their foresight and the participants for showing others just how it is. It's brave, maybe bold, and just brilliant :-)

mp


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: GUEST,Gloria
Date: 13 May 10 - 11:54 AM

Good Soldier Schweik wrote ;-
"I would have no problem sharing a stage with Gloria or any other trans gender,in fact I once shared a bedroom with her in her old persona,and if I had to share a bedroom again I would, she is a decent and interesting person."

Thanks for that Dick - yes I remember it well,including the subtle way you threw open the bedroom window at about 2 a.m. and shouted into the street at a pair of passing drunks - "Shut up you noisy bastards!"
There were some strange goings on in the other rooms of that establishment too (but not ours!)
As to the original post - in fact I do perform a lot of material that explores transgenderism in its various forms and lifestyles - so although i wasnt at this concert my "orientation" is relevant to what I do.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 13 May 10 - 02:08 PM

What a tedious thread, I really don't see how minorities can be in the vocabulary of all you lefties - I thought that all of you are equal.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: matt milton
Date: 14 May 10 - 03:34 AM

hey, there are gay Tories too you know.


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Subject: RE: nowt as queer as folk concert
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 May 10 - 04:10 AM

there are gay Tories too you know

I thought with the public school ones it was compusory!

:D


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