A group of artists including electro pop duo Parralox, Ryan Adames, Bill Coleman, Lee Dagger Bimbo Jones, DJ Pride, Raj Rudolph, Jade Starling, Jessica Sutta, and Jon Pito will gather to speak at the first LGBT Panel at the Winter Music Conference (WMC) in its 28 years of existence in Miami.
The panel will cover issues that performers in the LGBT community face “in a world that loves queer glamour, but caters to a mostly straight crowd.” Delving into a range of relevant topics, the panel will examine fashion-forward gender expression, the idea of out-and-proud or discreet, acceptance of transpeople, differences between gay and straight audiences, new diva allies, Electronic Dance Music trends in LGBT communities, the rise of gay Latina/o influence, and helping young LGBT artists get ahead.
Moderator of the LGBT Panel at WMC, Mickey Weems, points out to 429Magazine that although the conference has “always firmly supported LGBT artists,” they have never given direct recognition. He adds that there has been much internal support; both straight and gay.
“When I found out about [the panel], I thought it was amazing,” Ryan Adames, panelist and musician, told 429Magazine. “We’ve come a long way as a gay community. I struggled not only as a Latino artist, but as an openly gay artist as well. This is an opportunity to spread knowledge and I’m really excited about it.”
In its 28th consecutive year, WMC stands as the largest industry gathering of its kind in the world. Attracting thousands of artists and industry professionals from 70+ countries, the event boasts 100,000+ attendees for over 500 events, seminars, workshops, and parties.
“It’s fantastic that this is the first LGBT panel at WMC,” Lee Dagger Bimbo Jones told 429Magazine. “I myself have been attending and DJing at WMC since 2000. Having just returned from DJing at Sydney Mardi Gras for my 3rd year in a row, I am looking forward to hearing the topics and adding my views for the community.”
In regards to straight allies, Weems said, “They love us…they stood up for us. Some may have even lost venues because of it. They do care.” He explains how he has had more straight women want to be on the panel than anyone else. Weems also emphasized that there are a number of hot new artists to look out for at the event representing’ the LGBT community.
“Disco and electronica found a voice in the underground gay clubs, and what was once underground and gay slowly became part of the mainstream music culture,” said Parralox in a recent interview. “Without gay clubs, we’d be stuck in a bleak landscape of AC/DC cover bands. Without disco and drag queens, the world wouldn’t be worth living in.”