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Access Hollywood Chats Up Emily Saliers

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By GLAAD |
April 8, 2009

Emily Saliers, perhaps better known as one-half of the folk band, Indigo Girls, recently sat down with Access Hollywood to discuss her 20-year-career, the new double-disc album, “Poseidon and the Bitter Bug,” and the duo's upcoming appearance at the Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs.

You should read the article in its entirety here, but here are some highlights:

Jeremy Blacklow, Access Hollywood: It’s been 20 years ago since you broke through—I mean there weren’t really a lot of out gay artists then, like there are today — there was Freddie Mercury — but Elton John and George Michael hadn’t come out yet. How have things changed in your mind over the last twp decades for artists in the music industry to be out?

Emily Saliers: You know, I think there was more of a climate of fear about what would happen to your career if you came out back then in those days. I mean, a lot has changed in 20 years. Obviously, we still have a long way to go. Like with Prop 8, when that happens, it’s like, ‘Damn, have we come far or have we not?’ Maybe not, you know? I don’t think that there’s the same concern in terms of coming out and how it’s going to affect your career now. I mean if you look like at Clay Aiken, who’s an American Idol, coming out, and with people like Elton out and Ellen, Portia de Rossi, main stream artists or actors or people in the arts… it really helps the cause a lot. Or Lance Bass, you know, who would think that a guy like that would come out? So obviously more people would come out, which means they’re more comfortable to come out, which means they’re less concerned with what could happen to their career. And that is a positive climate to be in.

JB: One of the biggest hits in pop music in 2008 was a song called “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry. What are your thoughts on a straight woman appropriating lesbian behavior for mainstream success?

ES: I don’t lose sleep over it, but it definitely gets under my skin. You know, I think it’s… that song is a pop song and it’s very catchy. It didn’t make me angry but it’s a little bit like, ‘Come on!’ When you sing a song about kissing a girl and it’s just a pop song and you go back to your boyfriend and nothing politically has shifted in the social consciousness, what good is that? So, for me, it’s not offensive, but it’s not responsible either. And any time you appropriate something that’s not yours and start expressing things about it, it’s, you know, you’re removed from the reality. So I just think it’s a pop song, and it’s a little misguided, but she probably didn’t mean any harm by it and life goes on.

The Indigo Girls' newest album, “Poseidon and the Bitter Bug,” is available in stores now.

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