let your freak flag fly
At some point along my journeys as a touring DJ I began wearing lipstick. It began as something fun and innocent to do at after parties. I began to wear it more frequently, in public, at clubs, and eventually it became part of my stage persona when I performed live. Wearing lipstick I began to feel very conscious of the hyper-masculinity and rigid gender constructs that are still ever present throughout the world. When onlookers see what they consider a straight male wearing lipstick it complicates their ideas about gender and sexuality, which is the goal of Freak Flag - to move beyond gender binaries.
By wearing Freak Flag we show our alliance to the LGBT community and offer our support to the community that nurtured modern dance music into existence. As dance music continues to proliferate and be adopted by dominant pop culture I think it’s an important moment to remind ourselves of the origins of this sound. To the generations that precede me this may sound like old news, but I sense in my generation a historical amnesia and lack of consciousness when it comes to the origins of contemporary dance music.
It was in the sweaty loft parties in New York like Sanctuary, The Loft, and Paradise Garage that freaks, outliers, gays, transexuals, blacks, latinos, and those on the fringes of society could unite and express themselves through dance. These events were not just dance parties but effectually pressure valves that allowed those marginalized by the dominant hetero-normative culture to release their anxieties and engage in rhythmic therapy. The club was a space for those in that community to exist freely and openly.
All of the profits from Freak Flag will go to the Jim Collins Foundation (JCF) - jimcollinsfoundation.org - which directly funds gender-confirmation surgeries for those who need the financial assistance. This year JCF was able to pay for three gender-confirmation surgeries, which brings these people the peace that they’re entitled to.
Raise your freak flag full mast and show the world that we can make noise, even outside of the club.