Why covert homophobia needs to be removed from music.

In light of some recent interactions I’ve had with an ‘artist’ who shall not be named, because they don’t deserve to have their name recognised, it seemed appropriate to examine and explain why homophobia has no place in music and on Velvet.

The short answer is: because it just doesn’t. Short and simple, homophobia doesn’t have and never should have had a place in music. Here on Velvet, I make a conscious effort to include LGBTQ+ artists as frequently as I find them, because not only do their stories and music deserved to be shared, but because I want to share them. The same goes for artists of colour and female artists, who I am continuing to overload Velvet with, again, because I want to.

Homophobia has deep roots within music and modern, western culture, especially in rap music. However, rap is too stigmatised with being homophobic and often allows other genres to fall under the radar with mild covert forms of homophobia, using gaybaiting in pop, mockery in rock and aggression in many other genres as a few quick, broad examples. These covert forms of homophobia are arguably much more damaging than the sometimes overt homophobia found on classic rap tracks, as they help to normalise these behaviours as being okay and “just a part of the music”.

The ‘artist’ who I had this exchange with, was a covert homophobe, dropping the word ‘faggot’ in a number of times casually as if they’d go unnoticed. I myself was not comfortable with this and would not allow any visitor to Velvet to be subjected to this type of covert homophobia, so they were told that the track would not be featured because of this.

To which they replied with:

“I appreciate you taking the time to listen to the track man. Clearly if you weren’t a faggot yourself, you wouldn’t have a problem with it being used on the song, so I guess I’ll look elsewhere”.

As I said I won’t be sharing the ‘artist’, nor their contact information, as I do not want harassment to be sent their way. I’m using this interaction, however, as an example that I, as a promoter of, new, independent music, was subjected to this casual homophobia because I disagreed with their work. Homophobia neither needs to be shared as entertainment, nor normalised as such. It needs to be acknowledged, challenged, then completely removed so that the notion of even using homophobic language in music becomes an immediate no.

At almost 23, I’m still young, but I’ve gone through enough to not allow someone so lacking in intelligence and general musical skills to get to me. Some visitors are younger and more vulnerable while some will be older and able to brush such occurrences off more easily, yet none of you deserve to have homophobia casually dropped into your daily lives. Our “Support for our Visitors” page is always there, filled with links to hotlines and help-websites for those who need them.

Here on Velvet you will, never, be subjected to any form of hate, especially homophobia. We operate a zero tolerance policy on all forms of hate and discrimination and will continue to push this throughout the music industry.

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