Cultural Soil

Between Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace and Frank Ocean coming out, it feels like this is a major moment not just in music culture, but in America's long struggle with sexual orientation and gender identity. Sometimes I think this is exactly the kind of sea change we need in our popular culture to make social progress. While I still have faith in the voting system and the theory of our representative democracy, that's also powered by our cultural battle. Whatever it is we try to get on the ballot - gay marriage, ending the war on drugs, the prison industrial complex - it's still a matter of changing the common sense. So when big pop culture figures open up about their sexual identity, it's huge: their fans are forced to look inward to find how they feel, the culture opens up a little bit more, and somewhere some transgender teenager doesn't feel as alone. It's a powerful, important key to progress.

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