BioThey began in 1991 in San Francisco, started by guitarist/singer Jon Ginoli. Soon joined by bassist/vocalist Chris Freeman, they both had the experience of being ostracized by other musicians for being gay and by other gays for being rock. “We tried to turn our alienation into something positive,” says Ginoli. “Instead of being depressed about it, we tried to make music that would make us—and our audience—happy. We could laugh about it, so we put that joy into the music.” They wrote in-your-face lyrics, but did it with a sense of humor. Raised on a diet of 60s pop and 70s punk, their sound was suitably crunchy and catchy as hell.
Starting in 1993, they put out an album a year for six years on Lookout Records. Their music caught the attention of former Lookout band Green Day, who took Pansy Division on tour for a couple of months in 1994 at the height of Dookie-mania. Says Ginoli, ”When we started our band we thought we’d be playing our music to people in their 20s & 30s who were gay or gay-friendly. Suddenly we faced thousands of high school kids each night, an amazing opportunity we never expected to have.” The response was decidedly mixed, but their popularity soared. Pansy Division toured and recorded almost non-stop for five years. Along the way they recruited a permanent drummer (Luis) and a lead guitarist (Patrick Goodwin), making them the quartet they are today.