We are a protest band. We are here in solidarity as feminists, queers, and part of the greater 99 percent.
We are here to support immigrant rights, workers rights, and the Occupy movement.
But this is not a day to divide, this is a day to stand as one.
We will not only protest, but make a collective promise that we will never ever back down.
That we will never weaken our intelligent force, and that we will only get stronger.
We must remain simultaneously angry yet hopeful and continue our constant support for each other.
And most importantly give gratitude to this incredible crowd.
We can not do this alone. We need this choir. We need this team.
– JD Samson’s speech at the May Day Occupy Wall Street event
JD Samson has had, and continues to have, an enviable music career as part of bands like Le Tigre and MEN. While I knew she wasn’t living it up Mariah Carey MTV Cribs-style, it wasn’t until I read an article she wrote for the Huffington Post, that I realized how similar a touring musician’s lifestyle is to my own — and pretty much anyone who freelances for a living. It’s scary to get older and realize your life’s work won’t be able to provide a way for your eventual retirement. It’s even more scary to think about what other options you may be left with or the time and money it might take to learn a new trade. To add more complexity to this already-complex equation: When you live in a body that doesn’t fit the social norm, how do you fight bigotry and ignorance when you’re no longer in your comfort zone?
These are all questions JD is asking and also in the process of figuring out — but she’s not just doing it for herself, she’s doing it for everyone. We spoke with JD the morning after the May Day Occupy Wall Street event where MEN played in support of everyone marching and fighting for the 99 percent.
AfterEllen.com: First of all, you occupied Wall Street yesterday. And you occupied with a little music, playing in the middle of all of the action. Can you tell me about that experience?
AE: Do you think that was a police play?
AE: That’s kind of understandable.
AE: That’s awesome.
AE: Were you playing your new stuff?
AE: You played it in your hearts.