The world’s a very different place compared to 1994 — most dramatically, to be sure, because of the aforementioned digital revolution. But, another sweeping change, especially remarkable in recent years, that would have gotten the thumbs-up and an “About time!” from Cobain, is our progress on gay rights. Seventeen states now recognize marriage equality. The CEO of Mozilla just stepped down over his opposition to it. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”— enacted the year Kurt died — is a thing of the past. And, Arizona’s recent attempt to legalize anti-gay discrimination notwithstanding, an extraordinary number of young Americans today simply consider any such discrimination utterly unacceptable. That was hardly the case in 1992, when Nirvana released Incesticide. It was a rare musician of any genre — let alone a rock musician with an ever-growing bro-base — that would openly and vigorously condemn homophobia. For all the great records and memorable lyrics Kurt created, it is these words from Incesticide’s liner notes that to this day choke me up:
"At this point I have a request for our fans. If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of
different color, or women, please do this one favor for us - leave us the fuck alone! Don't come to
our shows and don't buy our records."