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Out in the Bay

Creating Queer Punk with Pansy Division

Pansy Division
Courtesy of Pansy Division
Pansy Division

In the early nineties, the San Francisco punk rock scene birthed Pansy Division, first openly gay punk rock band. Through a brush with popular punk trio Green Day, they reached an audience that was significantly larger, and more straight than they’d imagined. In the process they helped to create a new genre of punk rock called queercore.

Jon Ginoli — our guest this week on Out In The Bay — had the idea for a gay punk band years before, but was living in the midwest and didn’t see an audience for it. Then he decided to move to San Francisco and take that spirit of in your face, free speech activism he saw here, and apply it to music. What followed was Pansy Division, widely accepted as the first (certainly one of the first) gay rock bands ever.

Pansy Division performs edgy and often hilarious music about the queer experience, and have faced their fair share of homophobia in the decades since they began performing, but they have faced it head on and solidified a place in not only queer history, but in rock and roll history as well.

Learn the true story behind Pansy Division from its founder this week Out In The Bay.

To see Pansy Division live at Mosswood Meltdown on July 3rd, 2022 head to MosswoodMeltdown.com

Please help us keep bringing queer air to your ears. Out in the Bay is an independent non-profit production. We receive no funds from podcast platforms nor from radio stations that air Out in the Bay weekly. Your gift will help keep LGBTQ voices and stories coming to you and others who might not be able to give. (Donate tabs on our website will take you to a Media Alliance interface. Media Alliance is our non-profit 501(c)3 fiscal agent. Your gift will be earmarked for Out in the Bay.)

The Executive Producer of Out In The Bay is Eric Jansen. This edition of Out in the Bay was produced by Christopher Beale and Richard Ybarra.

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Christopher J. Beale is an independent radio host, producer, and journalist living in San Francisco.
Eric Jansen is a long-time broadcaster and print journalist. A former news anchor, producer and reporter at KQED FM, San Francisco; KLIV AM, San Jose; and Minnesota Public Radio, Eric's award-winning reports have been heard on many NPR programs and PRI's Marketplace. His print work has been in The Mercury News, The Business Journal, and LGBTQ magazines Genre and The Advocate, among other publications. He co-produced the June 2007 PBS documentary Why We Sing!, about LGBTQ choruses and their role in the civil rights fight.