Out Singer Janis Ian Responds to Michelle Shocked's Anti-Gay Rant

Born again Christian and folk singer Michelle Shocked stunned fans over the weekend during her show in San Francisco when she went on a hate-filled rant condemning gay marriage and spewing “God Hates Fags” on stage. But now, fellow folk and openly gay artist, Janis Ian, has taken some time to respond.
By: Leslie Dobbins
March 19 2013 2:22 PM

Born again Christian and folk singer Michelle Shocked stunned fans over the weekend during her show in San Francisco when she went on a hate-filled rant condemning gay marriage and spewing “God Hates Fags” on stage. But now, fellow folk and openly gay artist, Janis Ian, has taken some time to respond. 

"Our country is in large part founded on the concept of free speech--the right to speak your mind politically and socially. But there is a huge difference between 'Free speech' and 'Hate speech, “Ian wrote on her Facebook page.

"It is sad when a talented person chooses to use that talent in the service of their own misplaced rage, and their disappointment in their own life. I often wonder if people like this die and meet God, who will smack them upside the head and say 'Did I really look like I needed your help?!”

Ian climbed the charts in the 1970s with her Grammy winning hit “At Seventeen.”  She came out as a lesbian in 1993 and married her partner in Toronto in 2003.

Shock’s sexuality has been in question since the beginning of her career, she joked back in 1989 that the New Music Album of the Year award she won, beating out Tracy Chapman, Phranc and the Indigo Girls, should have been called "Best Lesbian Vocalist.”

And after a performance in Chicago in 1990, she gave an interview to Outlines, a Chicago newspaper catering to the gay community, where she said that she felt boxed in by listener expectations that she was either straight or gay.  "I would like a much broader definition for myself," she said. 

However, since converting to Christianity in the mid-90s, Shocked has made a number of statements condemning homosexuality.  During a 2011 performance at the Wild Goose Festival, a well-known Christian event, Shocked responded to an audience member's question about homosexuality by saying “Who drafted me as a gay icon? You are looking at the world’s greatest homophobe. Ask God what He thinks.” 

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