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 in 2007 by Alan Bearce

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.

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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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