Amy Ray Of The Indigo Girls Speaks Out...

May 07, 1998

The idea of a high school tour came about after emily and i were judges in a student lyric writing contest sponsored by Scholastic Magazine. the words we read begged for and exalted in the chance to be expressed. the broad range of topics included: political activism, love, sonnets, sexual abuse and alienation. We were struck by the students' energy and willingness to engage in and question life. The intent of this tour was apolitical. After carefully reading and approving our lyrical content 6 high schools agreed to host a free show which included a question and answer session. The expenses were to be covered by the Indigo Girls. We have had 3 shows canceled, citing reasons such as profanity and most importantly sexual preference. The profanity issue is an obvious red herring - the irony being that we have more often been accused of being too spiritual and "clean." A minority composed of homophobic narrow minded parents and weak kneed principals and schools boards have successfully enforced a policy of hate. Our public schools should be a safe environment for an open exchange of ideas and a chance to explore one¹s own individuality.

The impossibility and hypocrisy of a situation where kids are expected to be honest but are judged and alienated from their community because of it should not escape us. In response to these circumstances we are playing alternate shows - alcohol free, all ages, after school. Thanks to the kids who are standing by us.

Amy Ray
Indigo Girls


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.