No band has waved the rainbow flag more proudly than Pansy Division. From its origins and involvement in early-’90s Bay Area punk to becoming de facto leaders of the “homocore” movement, Jon Ginoli, Chris Freeman and a rotating cast of straight and gay drummers (the band is now rounded out by drummer Luis Illades and guitarist Joel Reader) never shied away from graphic depictions of queer, bi and questioning dudes getting sweaty with each other and a variety of apparati. But as acceptance of queer culture and community has grown and the band’s members find themselves in their 40s and 50s, the topics on new album Quite Contrary have also progressed. Pansy Division will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on them.
Luis Illades picked up the pink emergency phone and checked in with his closest friends and icons that Pansy Division has met along the road to check in about their experiences with the queer past and present. As well as trying to get a tip on the newest jamz.
Who was the last queer artist you collaborated with, and how has their experience influenced your attitude toward your work?
A week ago, I sang on Holly Miranda’s cover of a Cris Williamson song—both queer artists. I’ve had queerness in my life forever. We all have. Holly has always been very open about who she is. Openness is good for me, my work, good for the world.
Who was the first queer icon who made an impression on you?
Let’s see: Before I was 10, there was Kristy McNichol, Jodie Foster, Freddie Mercury, Rob Halford, Elton John, Lou Reed, Joan Jett, Pete Townshend, David Bowie. All queer icons before I even knew what that meant!
What was the last song that you listened to on repeat?
“I Need A Man” by Sam Evian’s off his new record Premium.