GRLwood Serves Up Kentucky Fried Queer Punk


“I was like, this song isn’t lyrically discussing a queer or trans issue. But it is, because it’s coming from my perspective, whether I’m talking about being trans or not.”



When I met with Lynn Rose and bass player Raven Blessinger at Spinelli’s, it was at a show. The spacious basement restaurant often doubles as an underground indie venue.

When I arrived, the female-fronted TraumaxQueen was finishing up. Rose is up on the floor moving, jumping and bouncing. She’s not quite slam dancing, but her energy definitely screams hardcore.

At 20 years old, Rose has spent four years in Louisville’s hardcore scene. She started Transgression to address a very specific absence she saw.

“I didn’t really see a huge presence of queer people in the scene,” Rose said. “At least, it wasn’t something that was vocally discussed in music.

So in the time-honored tradition of hardcore, she started a band with her friends, several of whom didn’t initially play instruments. In addition to Rose and Blessinger, Transgression is rounded out by Blake Herbert, Seth Lewis and Kamal Ali.

On their website, they call themselves “a collective of queers, screaming, yelling, and refusing to be silenced.”

Making the scene queer-friendly is a goal for Transgression, and that includes trying to make sure that the under-21 crowd is able to see queer people on stage. That underage crowd is a big part of the hardcore scene, according to Blessinger: “I feel like they are a pretty considerable part of the scene — more than half are under 21.”

The hardcore scene is doubly important for queer kids. It’s a place to get away from heteronormativity.

Blessinger’s initial interest in the hardcore scene was just as much about finding a place to get away from abuse at home as it was about the music. Rose admits there is so much more work to be done, but says the collective feels like they are making progress.

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