How old were you when you went to your first show? I was twelve. It was Muse with Passion Pit, and on that day I could never imagine where I would be now. Growing up in the music scene was something different. I’m truly more open-minded, aware and tolerant compared to a lot of my friends who didn’t grow up with an accepting music scene. I’ve learned in my almost 20 years of life so much from people I met through music.
First, that everyone’s struggling with something. Don’t try and disguise it with happy Instagram posts and Snapchats, we all have demons. It truly shows in the lyrics and tones of your favorite bands. You can instantly tell what someone might be going through based on what they’re listening to. For example, a lot of people resonate with The Wonder Years and their themes of soul searching, trying to find out who you are even if you’re in your late twenties, which is generally when people “have their life together.” That’s also something to bond over, the struggles and hardships we all go through.
Second, that it isn’t too hard to show acceptance. Especially now, this scene has come together for oppressed communities and re-learned how to respect each other. Whether it be educating about slurs, gender pronouns, sexuality, feminism and oppression in general. I can personally say I was taught by a lot of people from the scene and although it isn’t their job to, it was incredibly helpful to shape who I am and how I approach and respect people.
Lastly, this scene has truly educated me on what different types of mental illnesses there are, and how to handle them. With organizations like To Write Love On Her Arms and Hope For The Day active in the alternative music scene, they have helped raise awareness and shown that there is hope at the end of the tunnel, even if it takes years to get there, and that there are people there to help.
This scene has grown and molded with me as I’ve grown up. It’s become a home for many people and some days I’m proud to be in it, while others I want to walk away. But that’s the thing about growing up, you make mistakes and you learn from them.