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Scissor Sisters  
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The American pop band Scissor Sisters was spawned in New York City's gay club scene and has cultivated a large glbtq fan base around the world, especially in the United Kingdom and the United States.

With four of its current five members openly gay men; with the lyrics of their songs regularly addressing transgressive sexuality and glbtq subjects, such as prostitutes and coming out to one's family; and with the group's music and flamboyant presentation drawing on the rich heritage of gay dance music, especially disco and glam rock: it is not a stretch to suggest that the band expresses a contemporary gay artistic vision, notwithstanding its consistent rejection of the label "gay band."

Although co-founder Jake Shears has said that "I don't believe sexuality really matters when it comes to music," he has nevertheless expressed the desire for the band to be "openly gay" in a way that other bands have not been in the past, without coyness or apology.

Whatever label one attaches to the group, there is no doubt that the band seems to crystallize the joyful energy and genderbending campiness, as well as the sardonic poses, tender yearning, and uninhibited eroticism, of many glbtq young people.

Origins of the Band

The band was founded in 2000 by Jason Sellards (b. October 3, 1978), who was born in Arizona but grew up in Seattle, and whose stage name is Jake Shears; and Scott Hoffman (b. September 1, 1976), of Houston, who is known as Babydaddy.

Sellards and Hoffman met in 1999 in Lexington, Kentucky and quickly became fast friends. After Hoffman moved to New York to attend Columbia University in 2000, Sellards also moved there, where he attended Eugene Lang College and wrote for the gay magazine HX and earned extra money as a go-go dancer at gay clubs.

Both young men were eager to experience the freedom of the city and to participate in its alternative music scene. After reconnecting in the city, they soon began making music together and appearing in Lower East Side underground clubs as the Fibrillating Scissor Sisters. Sellards suggested the genderbending name, reportedly an allusion to a lesbian sex position, and Hoffman designed the band's distinctive logo.

On an improbable trip to Disneyland in 2001, they met Ana Lynch (b. August 14, 1974), a singer who had performed at San Francisco's drag club Trannyshack. The two men immediately realized they shared a number of cultural and musical interests with Lynch, who ran a cabaret night known as Knock Off at a New York club called the Slipper Room. Lynch, who is heterosexual and has recently married, has explained her immersion in gay culture as an attempt to feel closer to her gay father, who died of an AIDS-related illness when she was 15.

Lynch invited the Fibrillating Scissor Sisters to appear at Knock Off, which they did on September 21, 2001, soon after the terrorist attack on New York City. During their performance, she joined the duo on stage. She was so effective and so attuned to their music that Sellards and Hoffman invited her to become a permanent member of the group. Soon afterwards they decided to drop "Fibrillating" from the band's name and Lynch adopted the stage name Ana Matronic.

The group was augmented by the addition of Derek Gruen (b. August 31, 1977), who took the stage name Del Marquis, on lead guitar. Gruen was first introduced to the band by a friend who at the time was dating Sellards, but became a member of the band when he responded to an advertisement for a guitarist.

The band then added a drummer, Patrick Seacor (b. September 6, 1968), known as Paddy Boom, the only male heterosexual in the Scissor Sisters. The oldest member of the group, Seacor had drummed and sung in several indie bands, including the Sloane Rangers, and had more experience than the other members. Seacor, who took a sabbatical in 2007 after the death of his mother, amicably parted from the Scissor Sisters in 2008.

When Seacor left in 2008, he was permanently replaced by the drummer who had substituted for him during his absence in 2007, Randy Schrager, whose stage name is Randy Real, and who is also a member of the goth band Jessica Vale.

Climb to Fame

In 2002, Scissor Sisters signed with a small New York record company to release two singles. The first, "Electrobix," an original song about gay men's obsession with working out, was less popular than its B-side, an inventive cover of Pink Floyd's 1979 "Comfortably Numb," which reinterpreted the rock classic about a drug overdose as a disco dance hit in the manner of the Bee Gees. Transforming Pink Floyd's somber song into a disco-oriented, high-energy anthem revealed the group's original brand of sardonic irony and savage camp and its tendency to combine upbeat music with downer lyrics.

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Scissor Sisters lead singers Ana Matronic and Jake Shears.
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