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Published on June 27th, 2018 | by David Morales

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Pride Month: GRLwood in ‘America is Gay’

GRLwood is a scream pop duo from Lexington, Kentucky who describe themselves as two angry lesbian genderfuck feminists. Together they recently released an album called “Daddy” with a progressive message behind it. Singer/guitarist Rej Forester and drummer Karen Ledford, proudly shove their anger with heteronormativity in our faces.

GRLwood exists outside of a heteronormative cultural environment…When it comes to recreational spaces that we enjoy for ourselves, our experiences are alternative to a lot of other peoples.  — GRLwood.

But what is making GRLwood so angry? To answer that, The Hype magazine draws attention to the strange and unusual political times we are in as the Trump administration is determined to target LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning) people, women and other minority communities.

Pride month is an essential time to think about the marginal and disenfranchised groups affected with a focus on the LGBTQ community as focal point for how the Trump administration and the conservative right has simply overlooked their needs and concerns. Lets not forget, we live in a society were the government tried to introduce legislation banning transgender people from the military. Now this administration has issued an unprecedented discriminatory directive to government employees and agencies. It blatantly allows the government to discriminate. If passed, a government employee could refuse to process spousal benefits for a surviving same-sex spouse.

Also, federal contractors could refuse services to LGBTQ people, without risk of losing those contracts. Agencies receiving federal funding and their staff members could refuse to provide services to LGBTQ children in crisis, or refuse to place adoptive children with same sex or transgender couples. Organizations could discriminate against LGBTQ people in their benefits, and in employment. This administration is adamant in denying and dismissing them completely.

Singles “Bisexual,” “Vaccines Made Me Gay, ” and “Daddy” are great examples of how GRLwood strive to break barriers in a cismale-dominated scene. Forester screams into the mic and wails on the guitar as Ledford gets aggressive on the drums as if they are on a warpath. Their music screams of queer liberation. GRLwood challenge misconceptions of what it means to be gay and exposes how people can extrapolate judgements based on those misconceptions. They are a band of the times that you are definitely going to want to add to your playlist. Bands like GRLwood are important because of their powerful and progressive message on gender and sexual identity! Altogether, “Daddy” emulates a range of gendered perspectives among the angst that captures what it means to live in the world as a person from the LGBTQ community.

Currently you have a single “Bi-sexual” from your album “Daddy.” What can you tell me about it?

That song was really loaded. It’s kind of a song that I guess gets a lot of disrespect from all sides of the sexuality spectrum. I think it’s really f***** up that a lot of people can be pressing with boundaries when bringing out your sexuality may not be heteronormative and that’s what the song is about.

The narrative I’m speaking of from a first-person perspective isn’t why I wrote the song, but if there’s a couple things wrapped up into it. There could be a lot of ways you could interpret it. But when I say, “I want to be your boyfriend,” my voice doesn’t sound like what someone would traditionally think of.

I think there is a gender component to it. “I want to be your boyfriend,” is saying like, I want to be in that normal spot that he has in a relationship with you. I want that normalcy. I want to be exactly the perfect fit.

How do you define gender identity?

I don’t know if I can. I think that’s the correct answer! I don’t think I can because I don’t think anyone can. It’s all a social construct. Gender is whatever you make it. Maybe gender is a social mold that people use to identify themselves to make them feel more comfortable. I don’t know what to call myself. I’m just a human being. I’m okay with being called she or her, but you can call me whatever you want.

How do you feel about the Trump administration’s treatment of the LGBTQ community?

It sucks! I feel personally betrayed not only by the current administration but by the people who put this administration in power. I think it’s usually like one step forward, two steps back. Fortunately, there are good media outlets and spaces for queer people to be heard. There aren’t that many sources on Independent media and social media platforms however. We still have a long way to go.

I think there is a huge lack of representation in queer culture. Everyone likes to talk about queer sexuality, but it’s more than just sex and how you like to have sex. There’s definitely a whole culture behind what being queer is, and I don’t think it’s represented in the media appropriately. GRLwood tries to embody that. It’s more than just sex. It’s a whole culture.

GRLwood exists outside of a heteronormative cultural environment — I mean like we exist within it — You know what I mean? Every time we step out of our personal space into the world. When it comes to recreational spaces that we enjoy for ourselves, our experiences are alternative to a lot of other peoples.

What can you tell me about your genre scream pop?

We play hooky-poppy stuff, but we also play things that some people might consider metal, hardcore or punk. I’m not a stickler on what genre is what, but I probably wouldn’t consider it either. Its built like pop music. It’s fun, fast, hooky-pop riffs with a bunch of reverb on it.

Is there anything that you want your fans to know about GRLwood?

Our music may is easy to relate to for a lot of people. I thought I was going to make music reminiscing about my experiences. This is no longer like my weird little diary of selfish experiences in my gay world. This is something that a lot of people identify and relate to in a way they haven’t been able to before.  You can hear it through our lyrics and the way we hold ourselves, it’s like, oh shit, there’s this thing and we are here. It’s not just about making out with other girls.

 


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About the Author

is the Executive Editor of The Hype magazine. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, David has a background as an artist manager, writer, blogger, drummer, and in the human services industry. He is passionate about helping others, learning and has a deep empathy for the creative process. You can follow his social media @dcypherstudios


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