i’ve been a punk since i was 13, i hung out with skaters and skanked at shows and loved pop punk and was super into all ages stuff. but around the time i was 15 the punk scene stopped feeling like the best place on earth for me. the scene i was a part of became alot bigger, shows were now at official venues and more well known “professional” bands were playing and most of my friends who were older had moved on. so i tried to move on too and started going to hardcore shows. i was a 15 year old femme lesbian, the jock hardcore scene hated me. but going to shows was soooo important to me (+ i had no real friends in my school) so i stuck with it and by the time i was 16 (2004) i had made some fun friends who were in screamo/scrams/post hardcore bands who would play all ages shows in the city (previously i went to shows mainly in the suburbs).
during this time i got REALLY into le tigre via livejournal (lol) which lead to bikini kill than bratmobile than huggy bear than team dresch ETC etc and it still continues. i remember listening to rebel girl one day walking to the school bus and actually thinking to myself ‘if bikini kill knew i like girls i dont think they would hate me for it, i think theyd just accept it and treat me like they would anyone else’. i really liked how riot grrrl sounded and that i could imagine myself in a band like that. also i really liked the kinder whore/vintage dresses aesthetic too. it was the first time i felt feminity was celebrated in punk.
than one day one of my friends bands played a show called puppy love in a warehouse. it was a zine launch and there was a mixtape sawp and the dress up theme was 'romantic’ and this band kiosk played. it felt like all the stuff id read and dream-pt up about riot grrrl had come to life. i started only going to shows like this in the city.
than a few months later i went to woolongong for a show that happened to be during a 3 day diy punk fest called belladonna and i ended up staying the whole time and went to workshops on community response to sexual assault and book binding, and played double dutch and went night swimming in the rock pool and met lots of cool post riot grrrls and feminists and queers from all over australia. it changed everything. it was so weird going to school after that weekend feeling that i had discovered a whole new secret world of possibility that no one else would ever believe me or care about.
althou riot grrrl is this thing that ended a long time ago, it totally lives on and for me its in stuff like belladonna and kiosk and zines about treatments to sexually transmitted infections. later when i was still 16 le tigre came to australia, i borrowed a friends id and totally got in!!!!! it ruled!
when i was 17 (by this stage i was OBSESSED with riot grrrl. id spent all my free periods at school reading stuff by kathleen hanna and even did my final major society & culture assignment on women in punk. hahaha for my final english exam in creative writing i wrote about drag kings in the 1920s using loads of tracy and the plastics quotes) ooops what was i saying, ahem, when i was 17 i was in a riot grrrl/skinned teen/le tigre inspired band called le paper dolls, this would hav never been possible for me without riot grrrl. riot grrrl still inspires me now.
i know this is the longest response every and im basically telling my life story but riot grrrl really feels like one of the most important loves of my life.