Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-07-30
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

LezFest held at Mary's Attic LezFest held at Mary's Attic
LezFest: A One Night Fling, a celebration in words, songs, music and ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

Legendary lesbian singer Janis Ian on coming out, new book
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2013-03-06

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email
Janis Ian. Photo by Peter Cunningham


Singer Janis Ian started performing in the '70s and is still continues to this day. She has won two Grammy Awards—one for her song "At Seventeen" and the second most recently for Best Spoken Word Album for her autobiography, Society's Child. The competition was fierce with Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama, Ellen DeGeneres and Rachel Maddow all in the same category.

The out and proud lesbian lyricist is on tour and will be in Skokie this month.

Windy City Times: Hello, Janis. I see a Tennessee number on my caller ID.

Janis Ian: I live in Nashville. I have lived here 25 years.

Windy City Times: I grew up there. I moved to Chicago in 1993.

Janis Ian: I have been here since 1988.

Windy City Times: Do you love it down there?

Janis Ian: Yeah, I do. I like it a lot.

Windy City Times: You started in the music business very young. Did your hit "At Seventeen" come out of bullying?

Janis Ian: No; it is being used as an anti-bullying song, which is great. People are using it in videos and stuff but, for me, it came out of Valentine's and not having a date.

Windy City Times: How was your Valentine's Day this last time?

Janis Ian: It was great, but I have been with my partner for 24 years.

Windy City Times: Tell me about your Grammy moment recently.

Janis Ian: That was fantastic. It was totally unexpected. Well, some people didn't think it would happen. I certainly didn't think I would win, not with that kind of competition. It was all the sweeter. My acceptance speech is up on YouTube; I said, "This is a rather stunning upset."

Windy City Times: Lots of talented people were in that category.

Janis Ian: It was a great category.

Windy City Times: How does it feel to be acknowledged in that way?

Janis Ian: It was great. It was a nice nomination and I have only had one win for myself. I was standing backstage thinking that I know how to lose with grace and I will hold my head up and thank everyone who helped me and call it a day. I was pretty shocked. It got cooler because Michelle Obama tweeted me congratulations. Rachel Maddow sent me flowers and that was pretty cool, too.

Windy City Times: You have been quoted as describing yourself at not being good at pop music. Can you explain that?

Janis Ian: It was more along the lines that my talent doesn't run in commercial music and that is not what I am good at.

Windy City Times: Was there a moment when you felt you had to come out as a lesbian in the music business?

Janis Ian: I came out formally in 1993, but that was years after everybody knew. The press knew; my family and, certainly, all my business associates all knew. I came out because of the teenage suicides. The head of what became HRC showed them to me and explained that, "If three out of 10 kids are killing themselves because they think they might be gay don't you wish they had a role model?" That made a lot of sense.

Windy City Times: You wrote for The Advocate after that.

Janis Ian: Yes, it has been so many years I don't even remember exactly when.

Windy City Times: I wonder how long it will take to get same-sex marriage in Tennessee.

Janis Ian: I have no idea but I have less problems here than I did in the North.

Windy City Times: Really? I have some LGBT friends that have some problems down there.

Janis Ian: I'm sorry to hear that.

Windy City Times: Speaking of the north, talk about your show in Skokie.

Janis Ian: It will be an all-live show. Livingston Taylor is the other performer. I will be doing a combination of old stuff and new stuff. I'm encouraging people to bring items they want signed because we both stay after the show to meet people. I will be solo and so will Liv as far as I know. I'm pretty loose onstage and audience friendly I guess you would say.

Windy City Times: Have you performed in Skokie before?

Janis Ian: If I have, it has been years and years. I normally just play Chicago in that area.

Windy City Times: What are your future projects?

Janis Ian: I have a book coming out. It's a children's illustrated book called The Tiny Mouse. It is a about a little mouse that runs away.

I am pretty much in the middle of still publicizing the audible book that won the Grammy. Then I am working toward my next record.

Windy City Times: Do you have an estimate when that will be released?

Janis Ian: Not a clue.

Windy City Times: Still in the process, then.

Janis Ian: Absolutely.

Windy City Times: What inspired you to write a children's book?

Janis Ian: I actually wrote a song called "The Tiny Mouse" for the Olympics in England. I was commissioned to write it. A friend of mine works for the publisher, who turns out to be one of the biggest publishers in the world. They loved it and hired two great illustrators. Next thing I knew we had a release date and I'm going to the American Library Association's convention and all of these other things to publicize it.

Windy City Times: You could even go on a book tour.

Janis Ian: Who knows?

Windy City Times: You have had a long history with Chicago.

Janis Ian: Yes, I have. In fact, I was just there for the World Con. My friend Mike was being honored for that. Great city. It was one of the first places I ever played. It was a long time ago.

Windy City Times: What has been the key for having such a long career?

Janis Ian: I think sheer stubbornness. I love doing what I do. I can't do what I do without having a career. So it was either be somewhat successful or get a day job. I would be a miserable failure at a day job.

Windy City Times: The music business has changed so much since you started.

Janis Ian: Well, it's no longer a business, it's an industry. Now it is about getting used to that side of it with Facebook and Twitter.

Look for Janis Ian at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, on Thursday, March 14. For more on Ian, visit www.janisian.com; for tickets to the show, go to www.northshorecenter.org or call 847-673-6300.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

Joan Jett's honor; Nathan Lane's point; 'True Blood' 2014-07-30
MUSIC Lakeside Pride Freedom Band director Zurcher resigns on a high note 2014-07-30
Neneh Cherry's 'Stance' on Chicago, gay pals, being 'mormor' 2014-07-30
LeAnn Rimes releasing dance remix CD Aug. 5 2014-07-30
Pride Fest veteran Neon Hitch talks new music, freedom 2014-07-29
BENT NIGHTS Brothers Moving; Boz Scaggs 2014-07-29
Lakeside Band entertains at director's farewell 2014-07-29
BENT NIGHTS Fed Up Fest 2014 2014-07-29
Equality Michigan takes on MichFest trans ban 2014-07-29
The Beverly Hillbillies: The Musical 2014-07-23
Dancing About Architecture 2014-07-23
Dustin Lance Black plane scare; Quinto movie news; NeNe vs. Wendy 2014-07-22
Pitchfork features Beck, great weather 2014-07-22
Andy Cohen on show; Stevie Nicks; Robbie Rogers TV series 2014-07-16
World news: Conchita Wurst models; Ian Thorpe comes out 2014-07-16
BENT NIGHTS Taste of Chicago wrap-up: Monae, AWOLNATION 2014-07-16
Out singer James talks Whitney Houston, defying labels 2014-07-16
Indigo Girls joining Nettles Aug. 29 in Aurora 2014-07-16
MUSIC Jay Brannan: Queer and folk 2014-07-16
MUSIC Trans singer Ty Nic releases 'Who I Am' 2014-07-16
UN music video for gay rights Exceeds One Million Views 2014-07-15
Gaga brings the goods to United Center show 2014-07-13
Panel discusses impact and future of house music 2014-07-11
Sara Bareilles kicks off tour in Chicago 2014-07-11
Gay chorus seeking new director 2014-07-09
A Musical Tribute to the Andrews Sisters 2014-07-09
DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE: Summer time and the listening... 2014-07-09
Drag Race in U.K.; Gaga, Judas Priest; Sean Hayes' new gig 2014-07-08
July 10 discussion to look at house music 2014-07-08
Musician keeps alive legacy of gay-themed country album 2014-07-08
Gay chorus seeking new director 2014-07-08
Neon Trees singer talks gay life at iHeartRadio event 2014-07-08
OPALGA, Lakeside Pride march in Oak Park parade 2014-07-08
Trish Keporos: One singing sensation 2014-07-03
Lakeside Pride Freedom Marching Band, OPALGA partner July 4 2014-07-02
Singer/songwriter set to inspire through music 2014-07-02
Lesbian musician talks Etheridge, Kate Clinton, Amy Ray 2014-07-02
July 10 discussion to look at house music 2014-07-02
Marketplace offers chance to meet Gaga July 11 2014-07-02
Michael Jackson tribute Aug. 28-30 in Gary, Indiana 2014-07-02





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

Illinois takes step to end trans insurance bias
 
First couple to adopt looks back
 
WCT's Baim named to NLGJA's Hall of Fame
 
MUSIC Lakeside Pride Freedom Band director Zurcher resigns on a high note
 
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Grand-scale Greek drama
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.