TW: Mention of abuse in the music scene
I started this blog at the beginning of October 2017, it was running pretty good for a couple of months, but then I stopped posting. What happened?
First, I got sick later in October. Physically sick, and then mentally sick. I’m transgender, and my body doesn’t seem to be enjoying the levels of testosterone I’m pumping into it at the moment. No one’s quite sure why I’m sick, but unless I get a hystorectomy soon, it’s going to be a pretty permanent fixture. The degree of pain and symptoms I’m experiencing constantly triggers gender dysphoria. For the first couple of months, I dealt with it through distraction, but there’s only so much distance you can put between your brain and your body. About a month ago something in my head snapped and I entered a pretty deep downward spiral. Why am I telling you this? No one talks about bad mental health in the music scene. A lot more artists now are coming out and addressing their issues openly, which is amazing. However, since starting this blog I’ve come to truly appreciate how much more there is to the music scene than the bands. You have labels, promoters, managers, and lawyers, just to name a few. All these people still face huge levels of pressure, and, like bands, it is often their livelihoods are on the line. With the support of amazing friends, I’m finally beginning to pull myself out of this hole and I’m putting structures in place now to help. Things are looking more positive.
Then I got sick again. Sick of the music scene. Brand New, Moose Blood, Neck Deep, Don Broco, PWR BTTM, With Confidence. Which artist will be next to be swiftly removed from my Spotify playlists and YouTube history? I started this blog as a music fan, but getting so involved in the scene drained me of my passion. I invested so much emotional energy into every band I listened to, it burned me whenever new bands were shown to be abusers. I cannot begin to imagine how this must feel for the survivors of this type of abuse. I stopped listening to new bands, watching as for the first time in years, my music library shrank before my eyes. Finally though, with the gradual help of my friends again, I was able to see that there is hope in the scene yet. Philly charity Punk Talks have inspired me to seek out and campaign for better mental health support for musicians. Chatting to people at gigs has made me feel that my little blog and I might have a future to look forward to in a safer music scene. Starting guitar lessons has meant I’ve felt more able to get my own music out there and start telling my own story.
This blog is less than six months old, and there have already been a few blips, but I’m really excited for the future. I’ve met some great people through the music scene in Brighton, the UK, and also internationally, and I’ve got a lot more reviews and interviews planned for the coming months.
Photo Creds: My Dad