“San Francisco’s Pansy Division became a quintessential “queercore” band, and by sharing the stage with Green Day, the Supersuckers, Mr. T Experience, and the Vandals, they exposed tons of people to a new musical subculture.” – Pitchfork
“Pansy Division’s punk beat smashes gay stereotype.” – Newsweek
“Queercore legends” – Rolling Stone
PUNK LEGENDS PANSY DIVISION
CELEBRATE 30th ANNIVERSARY
of Their Groundbreaking Debut Undressed
With Shows Across The U.S.
MAY 3, 2023 (New York, NY) — “Pansy Division started in 1991 because we knew there were gay rock musicians, but almost no one was really out at that time,” says Jon Ginoli, vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the legendary first openly gay rock band which features predominantly gay musicians. “There were lots of rumors, and reading between the lines, but I wanted a band that would be overt and totally out and have nothing to hide, because it seemed like no one else was going to do that.”
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of their debut album Undressed (Lookout! Records, 1993), Pansy Division is hitting the road in 2023 for nine shows across the country including Minneapolis, Chicago, Seattle, and New York City.
Beginning in 1991 when Ginoli surveyed the rock scene and saw not only a dearth of openly queer musicians but a complete lack of them, he formed Pansy Division as a response. Thirty years later, their trailblazing has never been more fully realized: the music scene has grown exponentially more accepting of LGBTQ+ artists to the point that it’s almost dizzying.
“There is so much of it now that I can’t keep track of it, and that’s a far cry from when we were starting out,” he says. “If more people had been out then, especially in rock, we might not have felt the need to start this band in the first place. But there wasn’t, so we did, and being so open, unapologetic, blunt and fun about it means that it still resonates today.”
June 15 – Minneapolis, 7th Street Entry (First Avenue)
June 16 – Milwaukee, X-Ray Arcade
June 17 – Chicago, Beat Kitchen (Pride Weekend in Chicago)
September 28 – Portland, Mississippi Studios
September 29 – Vancouver, BC CANADA, Biltmore Cabaret
September 30 – Seattle, Clock-Out Lounge
November 16 – Philadelphia, Johnny Brenda’s
November 17 – Baltimore, Metro Cafe
November 18 – New York (Ridgewood, Queens), TV Eye
Releasing their seventh album Quite Contrary in 2016, Pansy Division has continued challenging music world conventions with keen wit, backlit by their edgy sound. Having been championed early on by Green Day (who took them on their Dookie tour in 1994) and talked up by Howard Stern on his radio show, they broke through the mainstream without having to compromise.
Injecting humor into their sometimes playful, sometimes serious punk pop songs—tinged with elements of glam, folk-rock and Britpop—without being caustic, they’ve kept their raunch and raucousness balanced in equal parts. “We tried to turn our alienation into something positive,” says Ginoli. “Instead of being depressed about it, we tried to make music that would make us—and our audience—happy. We could laugh about it, so we put that joy into the music.”
Bringing that joy back into the clubs where it (and they) belong, Pansy Division are excited to be back. “We have played 976 shows in our 30-year career and we want to get to a thousand,” he laughs. “Since we all have our own lives and careers and are geographically separated from one another, it may take a while, but we hope to get there.”
Pansy Division are Chris Freeman (bass, vocals), Jon Ginoli (rhythm guitar, vocals), Luis Illades (drums) and Joel Reader (lead guitar, vocals).