“What was it like, being a lesbian in front of a rock band during Joh’s days? Challenging, challenging. Joh really didn’t have a handle on what was going on at all.
I never felt inclined to hide my sexuality. I never felt it was necessary to make any sort of statement. It was pretty obvious what I was. I wasn’t the ’70s version of Kylie Minogue, looking gorgeous and cute in a little frou-frou thing. I was a sweaty, in-your-face rock singer, singing about taking women to bed. How more out do I need to be? I came out wearing sequins on my nipples and not much else with a fur cape. We had the number one song, ‘A matter of Time’. We’d blown Suzi Quatro out of the water.
It certainly had fringe benefits being the lead singer in a rock band. Access to certain women – that made up for the financial shortfalls – the emotional and sexual stuff. Yeah, it was pretty full on. Our main gigs were gay gigs. That’s where we started. We had enormous support from the gay community. They knew me, they knew us – they were there from day one. In fact, when we shot the ‘A Matter of Time’ film clip at La Boite Theatre on Hale Street, we filled the theatre with all our families and gay friends. We were playing the Queen’s Birthday Balls and so forth at Nundah. Those gigs are in the past now because it’s morphed into just a kind of dance party thing. It doesn’t have the same cohesive, community magic that it had in those days.
You know, the toughest time I got was not from the media, not from the local political leaders. The toughest time I got personally was from the blokes in other bands. They totally resented the fact I was crashing their domain, which was all driven by cock rock. They hated the fact I was being pulled off stage by women. I was pulling women; they hated that. They hated that we were getting media support and record sales and all that sort of stuff happening. But a girl was doing it. They hated it. And the more they hated it, the more I stuck it up them. They hated that I’d crashed their arena, their bloody tower of glory. But that’s exactly what I set out to do and I was delighted that it pissed them off. I loved it.”
To purchase the book North of the Border: Stories from the A Matter of Time Project, click here.