Exploring the queer backstories and personal narratives in popular song. To contribute your own story please write to 

When I was a young teenager I listened to metal somewhat exclusively. The big four: Slayer, Anthrax, Metallica and Megadeth. All of my friends and acquaintances did as well, until I started hanging out with the goths who worked at Le Chateau who introduced me to The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Sinead O’Connor and The Cure. To maintain appearances I would keep my tapes unlabelled in case any metalhead friends came over and became disoriented at the divergent music selection strewn about the floor. One day however I loaned what I thought was a blank tape to a friend and received a call later that to my recollection went something like this. “Hey, I listened to that tape you gave me before I recorded on it and there’s a bunch of fag music on it. What the fuck!” After a panic and a pause I answered, “Yah, we broke into a car the other day and grabbed a bunch of tapes that were in there. Sorry dude.” Satisfied with my deception I figured I dodged a bullet, but nothing lasts forever and over time it became clear I was not really a metalhead anymore and stopped hiding musical interests from the guys I hung out with.

Eventually I was ostracized properly after I went to a party, got drunk, went to bed in one room and woke up in a different room spooning with the guy who’s party it was. I was confused how this happened but he didn’t accept my hungover apology and social situations were weird after that.

Justin Kellam, Vancouver