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The Top 5 Queer Punks of All Time

By Will Stroude

In Attitude’s April Issue – available to download and in shops now – we’re celebrating Punk’s 40 years as one of the most iconic movements of modern times. It’s inspired music, film, art and fashion and represented a political and social ideology that continues to resonate today: Existing on the fringes of mainstream acceptability and gloriously anti-establishment it attracted a loyal following of queer men.

While some stars, even within the radical nature of punk ideology, still felt compelled to hide their identity, others were stridently public about their sexuality to the point of including it in the lyrics to some of their biggest hits. Here’s our top 5 queer punks of all time…

Jayne County

Previously Wayne, transgender rock icon Jayne started out as one of the Warhol superstars, before playing iconic New York punk clubs CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City. She also appeared in the 1976 film The Blank Generation, which defined the beginning of the American punk movement.

Darby Crash of The Germs

Crash cofounded seminal L.A punk bands The Germs – perhaps a better name than their original one, ‘Sophistifuck and the Revlon Spam Queens.’ Joan Jett produced their album, before Crash died of an intentional heroin overdose at the age of twenty.

Peter Shelley of Buzzcocks

Buzzcocks married punk to a more pop sensibility, with their first hit ‘Ever Fallen In Love With Someone (You Shouldn’t’ve Fallen In Love With)’. Songs such as Orgasm Addict further explored Shelley’s bisexuality and got regulaerly banned. He also had a brilliant banned dance hit in 1981, ‘Homosapien’.


Divine was perhaps the most punk person ever to live, the drag queen muse to John Waters, most notably in Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble. She also had a genre shredding musical career with disco punk hits such as ‘You Think You’re A Man’ and ‘Shoot Your Shot.’

Pansy Division

Taking their name from a queerification of Panzer Division, the band addressed the rampant homophobia of the mainstream and underground worlds through being really fucking punk. Albums Undressed and Deflowered are Gueercore classics, and lead to the band touring with Green Day.

You can read more about punk’s queer history in the new issue of Attitude – in shops now, available to download now at, in shops, to order at

Also in Attitude’s April Issue, alongside all you usual news, reviews, fitness & travel:

  • The legendary Pet Shop Boys speak to Attitude about their four decades at the forefront of pop across an exclusive 10-page interview and shoot.
  • Phantom of the Opera’s Ben Forster takes is into the glitz and glamour of the West End in ‘Big Gay Following’.
  • Maths teacher-turned model Pietro Boselli strips off for another scorching new spread, posing in nothing but his briefs for photographer Daniel Jaems.
  • We meet Britain’s angriest and exciting new band, Sleaford Mods.
  • Everyone’s favourite Gogglebox chatterbox Scarlett Moffatt finds out whether she’s one of us as she takes our ‘How Gay Are You Quiz’.

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