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Indigo Girls Talk Being a Queer Band in the ’80s and ’90s in New Doc Trailer:  ‘People Feared for Their Careers’

In the new trailer for Indigo Girls: It’s Only Life After All, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers discuss the challenges of being a queer band in the late-Eighties onward, from not fitting in, to the lack of mainstream media coverage.

The trailblazing duo Indigo Girls — who released their debut album, Strange Fire, in 1987 — were one of a few bands who came out publicly at a time when marriage equality seemed an impossibility and homophobia and misogyny were prevalent.

“Something about what you had to be as a girl didn’t fit in with what we wanted to be as Indigo Girls,” Ray says in the trailer.

Saliers adds: “Back then, there were very few artists that were out. Very few. People feared for their careers.”

The Alexandria Bombach-directed documentary, which debuted at the 2023  Sundance Film Festival, will get a theatrical release via Oscilloscope Laboratories for one day on April 10 in select theaters across the U.S., with a digital release to follow on May 7.

In addition to the general lack of acceptance for queer bands at the time, Indigo Girls also lacked support from major media, Ray says. “Indigo Girls have never been featured in a mainstream rock press magazine — I’m talking about Spin and Rolling Stone. I’m told the reason for a lack of press is our lack of radio play, but I know that it’s the fact that we’re political lesbians.”

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Their talent and perseverance paid off, deservedly so, with several gold and platinum records. Last year their 1989 hit from their sophomore self-titled album, “Closer to Fine,” soundtracked a pivotal scene in Barbie, showcasing the duo’s timelessness and resonance nearly a quarter decade later.

Alongside their career accomplishments, the Indigo Girls remain advocates for the environment, gay rights, and more. As one fan says in the clip, “They helped me understand who I was and who I wanted to be. The Indigo Girls completely saved my life.”

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