When the Coachella 2019 lineup first came out, I scoffed. Not for disdain of the artists, but because A, I knew I could never afford to go, and B, its founder, Philip Anschutz, is notorious for being an affluent right-winger who donates to pro-gun, anti-abortion, and anti-LGBT groups. But about a month ago, one of my good friends offered me a free ticket to Coachella, and against my better judgment, I said yes.
My friend and I weren't the only queer people at the event. Gay couples held hands without fear. James Charles posted a scandalous booty-filled photo on Instagram. Even Janelle Monae, who came out earlier this year, and SOPHIE, the first openly trans artist to be nominated for a Grammy in the best electronic album category, made on-stage appearances.
But here's the tea: as much fun as I had, I wouldn't go again.
As queer folk, we have an obligation to support each other, and stand up against injustice even when it's inconvenient. Even if it means missing out on delicious spicy chicken sandwiches and the biggest music festival of the year. Because if we don't hold those who are hurting us accountable, we might as well be on the other side.
And there are so many musical festivals in California you can support that don't donate to regressive organizations. And Coachella is not that special. The performances themselves were great, but aside from the music it's really just an excuse for rich people to get insanely high in the dust for three days and get clout on Instagram. If you're a true music fan you'll have fun at any festival. It'll probably save you some money, and it'll definitely save you some guilt.