17 February 2009
Pink Punk
During my eight-year musical sojourn in KL, one thing has struck me as particularly odd. That there's actually not that many gay men who are making music. Or at least not in the underground scene where I ply my so-called singer songwriter trade. (I don't really know about the pop world... but I reckon there's a few there.)

Not that the lack of representation is anything to be alarmed about.

But I wonder why it's so.

Why is it that underground music is predominantly populated by hetero dudes? Even when they wear really flamboyant clothes or have flirted with the frilly edges of questionable un-macho behaviour, they're very much straight. And they will tell it to your face if you dare so much as to "suggest" that perhaps the time has come to put the "experiment" to the "test".


Which explains why I'm a bit of a loner on the indie circuit. Not only am I more or less a pink punk, I come with a history of social awkwardness. In the early days, I just didn't really know what to do or how to act around the "guys". I've always hung out in a close circle of gay friends. But wanting to do music and deciding to do it indie-style and all, I had to leave that comfort zone and hang out with all these straight guys. Which in a way represents a sort of a return to the dreaded "closet". But at the same time, it was also a bit of a relief to get away from all things pink.

Sei Hon, one third of the Troubadours alongwith with Azmyl, once jokingly commented that I was the straightest gay man he's ever known. Hurray? Must have been all those boob comments I was making... but you know it's true... I do notice women's boobs... and I can appreciate a girl just for her looks... shiver... and I have been known to drop a few misogynistic jibes... tsk tsk tsk... not to mention all those girls I've kissed... shameless is what this blog entry is...

Anyway, when I'm around the guys, I try my best at least not to "stare". Which is not always the easiest thing since some of the guys who go to the gigs are really cute... ah... I've had a few crushes... Shah the lead singer of Love Me Butch is right at the top of the list...

And who doesn't have a crush on Ron of Furniture? But since Ron's a good friend, you know... gay or straight... the rules are the same... bonking one's friends is a huge NO-NO... NO NO NO...

Ha ha ha... sorry Ron... didn't mean to single you out but it's so easy to tease you because you're such a lovable raging hetero hunk... ;-p

Anyway, among my peers, I can count maybe four or five gay musicians who are more or less "out". One of whom is a close friend, and we sometimes compare notes on who's cute and who's not... ha ha ha...

Still it's rather endearing how the indie community has more or less accepted as one of their own (well, in a cursory way, I guess). My sexuality doesn't really get discussed. Except once in a while, when one of the guys gets curious as to what really happens... hmm... those are times I wish their curiosity got the better of them... but maybe I'm not such a great seducer after all. In all my years as a wannabe musician, the only musician I've ever slept with didn't even really like my music. Ha ha ha... I swear it's an elaborate cosmic conspiracy to get me to write more depressing songs! Ha ha ha...

Nevertheless, it's very gratifying when a cute guy comes up to me after a gig or writes me an email and tells me he really likes my music... LOL... I remember this one cute guy who came up to me after a gig, with his girlfriend in tow. That was really sweet... but in a way it's good too... I'll never have the hangup of having too many groupies (what a liar!).

Thankfully for the scene there are a number of lesbian musicians, and they definitely outnumber their gay counterparts. It's a good thing. I'd like to see more women (doesn't matter if they're lesbian or not) in the local indie scene. I think the successes of young female talents like Liyana of Estrella, Yuna, and Zee Avi aka KokoKaina, definitely contributes to a more balanced musical diet for the rest of us.

Are there any local gay musicians that I look up to? I wish I could name them here. But it's probably not a wise thing to out them unnecessarily. At the end of the day, the merits of a good musician should not be decided based on his or her sexual preferences. God knows I wouldn't want to be known as a "gay musician", though I don't mind being known as a musician who is incidentally gay.

Even though this whole blog entry just contradicted that last point.

I can't help it. I'm queer. And most of my songs are about the guys I failed to secure.

Just goes to show that you don't have to be straight to go emo... LOL...

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