BARRE, Vt. — The small, tight-knit Barre hardcore community announced last week the arrival of the first openly gay member of their underground music scene, elated sources confirmed.
“We’ve waited for this day for a very, very long time,” said hardcore activist Jenny Brown. “The Vermont hardcore scene prides itself on its inclusivity, but in a state that is 95 percent caucasian, the closest we’ve come to real diversity is Brandon Gianetti… whose dad was born in Italy. We’ve been wanting to include someone — anyone — different from our straight-white-cis, mostly male scene for as long as I’ve been here. Welcoming a gay scene member of our own is very exciting.”
Recent transplant Mark O’Hannigan, who moved to the small Vermont town from Sacramento to attend the Vermont College of Fine Arts in nearby Montpelier, admitted he was surprised by the reception.
“As soon as I got to town, I went to Exile on Main Street and saw a few flyers for shows. I gotta say, I was pretty intimidated at first — everyone seemed to know each other,” said O’Hannigan. “I said ‘hello’ to the girl handing out vegan pamphlets, and she immediately lit up: she assumed I was gay right away. She wasn’t wrong, but, honestly… it’s kind of a fucked-up assumption.”
“I’ve never been featured in so many relative strangers’ Instagrams in my life,” he later added. “Sorta weird.”
Unfortunately, O’Hannigan’s arrival has reportedly created issues with a rival hardcore scene in Bangor, Maine.
“Everyone down in Barre thinks they are fucking hot shots because they have a gay member now, and they keep rubbing it in our fucking face by saying they’re planning some big Limp Wrist show,” said Bangor hardcore veteran Kevin Williams. “We’ll show those bumpkins in Barre: we just had a benefit show to provide gender reassignment surgery to a Libyan refugee — it was all over Facebook. And we’re gonna have another. You’ll see.”
“The first show made $150, so we only need another $49,000 and an actual candidate for the surgery,” he added. “But once we have that… man, look out.”
Despite the support, O’Hannigan admitted privately that he might not stick around.
“Making casual friends has been really easy… but finding a potential partner here has been very tough,” said O’Hannigan. “The only other gay guy here is the singer for Granite Thrower, and he said if I told anybody, he’d ‘beat my ass all the way back to California.’ Nothing new, I guess.”