Kate Reid is the ‘only dyke at the open mic’

Vancouver singer-songwriter Kate Reid on music, humour, kids and Katy Perry.

Credit: Janet Rerecich photo

Vancouver singer-songwriter Kate Reid on music, humour, kids and Katy Perry

On the topic of National Coming Out Day, Vancouver also boasts a thriving grassroots community of LGBTQ (that’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning) artists, writers, musicians and activists.

For example, local singer-songwriter (and Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee) Kate Reid, is currently touring her debut album Coming Alive.

In her song “Only Dyke at the Open Mic,” she talks about her work, which aims to counteract mainstream stereotypes about LGBTQ experiences with a blend of political awareness and humour that recalls the approach of comedian Dave Chapelle.


MP3 download Kate Reid’s ‘Only Dyke at the Open Mic’



Kate Reid on the role of humour in her work:

“I think it’s easier to stomach what I’m talking about if I make fun of it… I’ve learned things can become more palpable with humour. We need to address stuff like homophobia, even our own internal homophobia… I’m trying to help people see how we’re similar. We’re different, but we share human emotions and experiences.”


Kate Reid on her next project, which involves interviewing kids with lesbian mothers and turning their stories into songs:

“I’m interested in looking at how they feel as kids… The idea came to me through my fan mail. A young girl who was 13 saw me playing at the Vancouver Folk Fest. She had lesbian moms, and was very articulate when talking about what it’s like… My partner has two kids, and I was curious about what’s it like for them at school, with dykes for moms. I heard these cool stories, and wanted to turn them into songs, so I lined up 20 people within 24 hours who said they would love to be a part of it.”


“Music wasn’t really about coming out,

but rather figuring out who I am,” says

Kate Reid. (Amy Reid photo)


Kate Reid on Katy Perry’s hit song “I Kissed A Girl”:

“Katy Perry’s song was counterproductive in a lot of ways. It got our community some exposure on radio, but it was not getting the expression right. She’s a straight person singing about potentially wanting to be with a woman: a straight woman trying to get more attention from men and the media. It’s a trendy thing. She’s not saying she’s a lesbian, she talks about her boyfriend… She’s not representing anyone I know… A lot of people don’t think about the implications of a song—what it might mean for real people and in the eyes of non-gay community.”


Kate Reid on the role of music in her experience coming out as a lesbian:

“Music wasn’t really about coming out, but rather figuring out who I am. That was really huge for me. I’ve said before I think it saved my life… When I was coming out, I started listening to lesbian singer-songwriters: Ani Difranco, Tracey Chapman, the Indigo Girls… It helped me look at myself. Music is such a powerful venue for people discovering their feelings… A lot of people in the GLBT community need visions of what they can be.”