Otep is Nominated for a GLAAD Media Award
Heavy metal band Otep has been nominated for a Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Award in the Outstanding Music Artist category with their record Smash the Control Machine. The GLAAD Media Awards aim to honor members of the media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community—and that's exactly what Otep is doing, yet they are doing it in the unlikeliest of environments.
Otep's frontwoman and namesake, Otep Shamaya, is the only out lesbian in the heavy metal music scene, and rather than camouflage her sexuality in an extremely male and heterosexual-dominated arena, Shamaya deliberately wears her L-card on her sleeve. Thus, her outspokenness—whether it's in lyrical or interview form—has catapulted her to an advocating position for the lesbian community.
Otep publicly acknowledged their gratitude toward GLAAD on Facebook saying, "We are truly honored! THANK YOU GLAAD!"
Metal blog Noisecreep reports further on Shamaya's response to the GLAAD news: "I do not understand why some have such a problem with two consenting adults going to a courthouse to have a Justice of the Peace bind them legally," she said. "It's absurd, offensive and I'm hopeful common sense will soon drown out the hater-mongers."
And her fans, what do they think of her sexual transparency? "I've never really had anyone confront me about being a lesbian. I seem to have tons of ladies—straight, bisexual, 'gay for a day'—petitioning me to induct them into the dark Sapphic arts. But I think that's typical for most societies." Well, that sure sounds like a perk of the job, not a clash!
The GLAAD Award ceremony is just around the corner, on March 13th, and the competition for Otep is looking pretty stiff. They share the Outstanding Music Artist category with Brandi Carlile, Gossip, Adam Lambert and the modern Madonna herself, Lady Gaga.
To my knowledge, Shamaya has yet to scream "Are you listening?" to the President during a D.C. Equality March (Gaga) or stage a same-sex kiss at the AMA's (Lambert), but in the heavy metal niche—quite a place to be fearlessly gay, if you ask me—she is proudly speaking her mind in order to open others.
And with lyrics such as "I'm one of the/freaks, the faggots.../do we sit still/under attack?/or do we start pushing back?" Otep certainly gives the other nominees a run for their money.