In 2014, transgender teenager Leelah Alcorn committed suicide by walking into traffic. The tragic circumstances behind this action were expressed in her suicide note. She expressed her pain at the lack of understanding or acceptance from her parents. Sadly Leelah found no hope in continuing on with a life that would either have her need to be something that she wasn’t, or have her be hated or ostracised. Within the suicide note was Leelah’s desire that her death was to mean something; to inspire change.
Though a long way away from Leelah’s home in Ohio, Brisbane based alternative punk band A Somerset Parade were inspired by the tragedy of Leelah’s suicide to write the song “Information Age”. The track is included on the band’s Against All Odds album, released 31st July via Lampel Records. “Information Age” calls for strength in the face of poisonous words that sting, particularly in the world of online engagements. The track offers up an important message of encouragement and hope, inspiring with its drum beats and swift maneuvering via guitar.
“So don’t listen to a word they say, don’t let their poison fill your ears
Build your throne upon the bones of these bigots and bastards”
With the current tension that has arisen in Australia, as we individually give our stance on marriage equality via a gay marriage plebiscite, A Somerset Parade wanted to create something to raise awareness and show their support for their friends and families in the LGBTQI community. Creating a video for “Information Age” is where the band have relevantly and powerfully directed their creative energies, and it is our pleasure to premiere it today.
“We need the lovers and leaders, not the martyred or dreamless”
The members of A Somerset Parade hoped that their music video would highlight transphobia and in particular day-to-day challenges that a transgender person faces in comparison to their cisgender contemporaries. The video, directed by Jack Marsho and his team from DC Photo & Film (a company with members from the LGBTQI community), combines footage of the band playing, along with transgender actor Lucian Galbraith portraying experiences of discrimination and insecurity. They also use the visual metaphor of a person bound and trapped in a box that is slowly filling with water to portray the hopelessness and overwhelming nature of discrimination, as well as reflecting the fight that they may undergo in order to break free.
“With every breath, until it’s known
Repeat these words; ‘I’m not alone’”
The members of the band shared: “A Somerset Parade are, and always will be, supporters of equality and inclusivity. While the main focus of our clip makes a comment on transphobia (coinciding with the inspiration for the song lyrics), we have also included a nod towards another very pertinent subject happening in Australia right now; that being marriage equality. All members of the band have friends/family or both who are members of the LGBTQI community and this is our way of using the platforms available to us to show our support and raise awareness for what we feel are important issues.”
We are pleased to share A Somerset Parade’s video for “Information Age”. To learn more about what you can do to support marriage equality in Australia, check out the following sites recommended by the band:
Anyone struggling with depression or anxiety should contact Beyond Blue in Australia: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/