June 20, 2016


Breaking the cycle with G.L.O.S.S.'s TRANS DAY OF REVENGE.

It’s hard to figure out what to say when your heart is so heavy you can barely lift a breath. After a brutal 24 hours with the massacre in Orlando and the scare at Los Angeles Pride, the queer community has been rocked to its core. Admittedly, there’s never been a guarantee of safety for queer people, especially gender non-conforming people of color. Fourteen trans people have been killed this year. The violence never stops, it usually just trickles, unnoticed by many in the sea of pop culture and current events. But throughout this violence, there have been sanctuaries. I won’t be the first or the last to compare the dance floor to a chapel, but I’ve never felt god any clearer than in a group of people dancing: unwrapping their protective covers and leaving them at the door for something more real, letting their bodies soar with every pulse erupting from the speakers. I’ve never felt heaven closer than the sprinkling of glitter on my eyelids from a fellow femme, anointing me more holy than any virgin, if only for the night. This space is full of sin to some, but for us it was always home. What do you do when your home is violated, broken, set ablaze? G.L.O.S.S. answers: “We break the cycle with revenge."

G.L.O.S.S.’ new album feels like release, like every amount of pain and sorrow has finally found a home. I’ve listened to a lot of punk in my lifetime, but in this moment, I finally understand punk. G.L.O.S.S. (Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit) says everything for me; its abrasiveness swings fists with the thrashing inside me. G.L.O.S.S. calls us to arms, inciting us to act but be aware. “Remember those / dead and gone / but don't let the media set us up for harm" reminds us to be angry, be aware, but be responsible, never forget the truth. “We Live” is perhaps the most cathartic track of all, a flamethrower assertion of queer existence. The track opens with an all too familiar acknowledgement of depression and hopelessness: “ We live / even as we wonder why we live / with trauma locked inside / we fight / against the urge to die parched for love and cast aside." Sadie paints a picture of home for queers, spaces dominated by the night but full of so much life: “We live / for nights like this / basements packed with burning kids / we scream / just to make sense of things / studs and leather / survivors' wings." Queer community and strength, queer power and beauty. Sadie howls “live” with an angry urgency, grabbing the space in front of her with her voice, claiming it for us. “ We live and die / against the grain / for ourselves we live with pride.

Blast this album. Blast it for your coworker who still mutters “faggot” under his breath. Blast it for your uncle who mocks the way that man talks. Blast it for the dude trying to turn tragedy into poorly-reasoned pro-NRA Facebook posts. Blast it for your neoliberal parents who think marriage is a grand monument of progress. Blast it for anyone who says “now let’s not make this political." Our bodies, the way we mark them, the way we carry them, it is all political. We didn’t choose this politicization. But we inhale it every day in the environment we live in. It gnaws at us with every scornful look, every offhand comment, every queer murder unnoticed, every anti-LGBTQ bill proposed in Congress. This album is a much needed exhale. For everyone needing so badly to heal: light a candle, scream along.


Listen to G.L.O.S.S. on bandcamp.

Carrie Heckel is an indecisive art fanatic who spends their time with a gluttonous siamese cat, collecting shitty tattoos, and dreaming of somehow slipping into Kesha's posse. Tweet at them @emojorts.