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Can We Stop Gatekeeping?

One thing that really makes me crazy is gatekeeping.

Name three songs, you’re too pretty to like metal, you’re too weak for punk, you’re too old for this or too young for that. Let’s stop.

The funny thing is that I have always LOVED the rock community. For being open and accepting and really creating a family. How many people can you think of that you’d consider “chosen family” thanks to music? Pretty cool right? Just to be generic - but let’s say a pop fan, generally happier you’re there and into the song, but may trash you if you look or dress a certain way (this is definitely changing though which I LOVE!

I went to Pearl Jam at BST Hyde Park in 2022 - totally amazing and I am a big Pearl Jam fan. The guy next to me, asked me my top 5 songs… and I froze. I couldn’t remember the title of a single song in that moment. Luckily when he said one title of a song he liked, my brain started to function again.

I don’t know if he asked me as a test, or out of genuine curiosity, but I know this happens a lot. I know kids worried about wearing shirts of bands they do love because they’re nervous about getting tested or being called a poser. I know people have been called out for not being metal enough… Hell I have been called out for not being metal enough.

The blatant ageism is really tough too. I can recall being part of some Aerosmith groups online - when Steven Tyler was on American Idol - and people would get really upset at the younger fans - saying they weren’t real fans because they’re not old enough.

Listen up… Get over yourself. What should be making you happy is that another person also gets such pleasure from the same music you do. Old or young, fat, thin… You lost the rock n roll plot if you think that’s what it’s about.

Have you experienced this? How did you feel about it? What do you think about gatekeeping?

See you next week!!

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