Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution | Chicago Reader

Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution

Chicago native Yony Leyser attempts to capture three decades of queer punk history in this compact but lopsided documentary. The movie excels during the community's beginnings in the 80s, when Toronto directors and artists Bruce LaBruce and G.B. Jones, who rejected mainstream gay culture and heteronormative punk culture alike, provided a point around which a queer punk scene could coalesce. In their short-lived zine J.D.s they coined the term homocore, which punk misfits Tom Jennings and Deke Nihilson used as the title for another zine in late-80s San Francisco. The scene continued to snowball into the 90s, when it influenced the riot grrrl movement. Leyser seems to take the side of homocore's 80s originators, some of whom reacted to the growth and diversification of queer punk in the 90s—which included an uptick in macho fare—by dismissing it and declaring the scene dead. Leyser condenses the late 90s and early 2000s (an active period in queer punk) into a brief montage narrated by voice-over, and treats new developments since then almost as hastily. But the film's tilt toward the scene's early days speaks to the endurance of LaBruce and Jones's original concept: they built it, and the punks haven't stopped coming.

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