BBC defends playing queer punk song with ‘kick TERFs’ lyrics

DIY punk band Dream Nails' song 'They/Them' includes the lyrics 'kick TERFs all day'

The BBC has not bowed to pressure over its decision to play a song by a queer punk band that includes the lyrics “kick TERFs all day”.

London DIY punk/riot grrl band Dream Nails’ track “They/Them” features lyrics including “my gender’s not your business”, “non-binary resistance” and “kick TERFs all day / don’t break a sweat”.

It’s described on the band’s YouTube as “a rage-fuelled love letter to non-binary people everywhere”,

The song’s airing saw BBC Radio 6 Music reportedly receive complaints from some listeners, which the broadcaster has dismissed.

TERF is an acronym for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist, and refers to people who describe themselves as feminists but who hold hostile views towards transgender people, and exclude trans folks – particularly trans women – from their women’s rights advocacy. 

A spokesperson for the BBC’s complaints team told The Times: “People will interpret songs with any element of nuance or ambiguity differently.”

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Dream Nails is fronted by trans performer Ishmael Kirby, with Anya Pearson on guitar, Mimi Jasson on bass and Lucy Katz on drums.

The band describe themselves as passionate about the “joy of zine-making” and making live music more accessible for young women and LGBTQ+ people.

Their upcoming album Doom Loop is produced by Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys) and “tackles everything from incel culture to rewriting the available images of trans masculinity”, according to Rough Trade.

Doom Loop is set to drop on 13 October on Marshall Records, and is available to preorder now.