thetaskforce.org: amy ray of the indigo girls speaks out
original publish date: 7 may 1998
in 1998 i wasn’t a huge indigo girls fan, so i was unaware of their ‘high school’ tour. this is a press release from amy in regard to the ‘resistance’ they met when it actually came time to perform in these schools.
“The idea of a high school tour came about after emily and i were judges in a student lyric writing contest sponsored by Scholastic Magazine. the words we read begged for and exalted in the chance to be expressed. the broad range of topics included: political activism, love, sonnets, sexual abuse and alienation. We were struck by the students’ energy and willingness to engage in and question life. The intent of this tour was apolitical. After carefully reading and approving our lyrical content 6 high schools agreed to host a free show which included a question and answer session. The expenses were to be covered by the Indigo Girls. We have had 3 shows canceled, citing reasons such as profanity and most importantly sexual preference. The profanity issue is an obvious red herring – the irony being that we have more often been accused of being too spiritual and “clean.” A minority composed of homophobic narrow minded parents and weak kneed principals and schools boards have successfully enforced a policy of hate. Our public schools should be a safe environment for an open exchange of ideas and a chance to explore one’s own individuality.
The impossibility and hypocrisy of a situation where kids are expected to be honest but are judged and alienated from their community because of it should not escape us. In response to these circumstances we are playing alternate shows – alcohol free, all ages, after school. Thanks to the kids who are standing by us.”