Kinetic Playground Owner Threatens Assault in Response to Protest Over “Kill Gays” Performer


Protest set for 10:30 PM,
Saturday, Oct. 9

In front of “The Kinetic Playground”
1113 W. Lawrence

(just east of the “Lawrence” Red Line el station)
Last week during a final attempt to persuade Kinetic Playground nightclub to cancel the October 9th engagement of performer Capleton, who calls for killing Lesbians and Gays in the lyrics of his song lyrics, the club’s manager owner Jim Gouskos threatened gay rights protesters with assault.
When GLN organizer  Roger Fraser said that Kinetic Playground’s refusal to cancel Capleton would be met with a protest, Gouskos replied, “Don’t threaten me because I can get a bunch of goons outside to throw eggs at you guys.”
While in an earlier conversation Gouskos claimed that he was pro-LGBT and would never have knowingly booked someone with Capleton’s anti-gay M.O., he said that an $11,000 contract forced him to go ahead with the show.  GLN’s Fraser replied that many other clubs, such as Chicago’s House of Blues, had managed to cancel contracts with kill-gays performers and that he or his lawyer should call them for advice on how to do this.
Instead Gouskos apparently called openly-gay Ald. Tom Tunney, and reported that Tunney said he’d never heard of Capleton, and used this as an excuse to dismiss GLN’s concerns.  Well, just because Alderman Tunney may not be up on the latest Jamaican dance hall music hardly settles the matter of just where Capleton stands on LGBT people. 

A simple Google search of Capleton shows 51,000 entries about the “murder music” aspect of him, and the Wikipedia entry says “Capleton has faced criticism for anti-gay lyrics in some of his songs” and his continuing to sing them has “caus[ed] the cancellation of a concert in Switzerland in 2008 and a United States tour in 2010.”
Capleton is actually one of the most obstinate of a small group of kill-the-gays musicians. He signed the Reggae Compassionate Act (RCA), a pledge to no longer perform or profit from music which calls for killing gays or other groups of people, and then lied by claiming he’d never signed it.  Worse, he’s incited crowds in Jamaica – already a very dangerous locale for LGBT people – calling from a stage last Christmas to “All who a bun battyman and sodomite, hand up!” (“All who have burned queers and sodomites, put your hands up!”).
As for Kinetic Playground’s and Gouskos’ claims of being friends of the LGBT community, Fraser put it best in his last comment to Gouskos:
“It’s a sad fact that Kinetic Playground, though it claims to be gay-friendly, obviously doesn’t take anti-gay violence seriously. I wonder what they would do about a performer who urged his audience to kill Jews or blacks. Would they still be unwilling to cancel his appearance? Why is the bar so much higher for gays and lesbians?”

Best Gay


Once Again, Public Pressure Delivers the Goods

Please THANK “The Kinetic Playground” Nightclub for Doing the Right Thing!

Through a series of negotiations this week and last and with the threat of a demonstration, Gay Liberation Network (GLN) and other community activists were successful in persuading management at Kinetic Playground nightclub, 1113 W. Lawrence Avenue, to cancel “Kill Gays” dancehall performer Capleton for a show originally scheduled for late this Saturday night, October 9th.

The cancellation of Capleton is a victory that all human rights supporters should savor. The Gay Liberation Network, which initiated the campaign against Capleton in Chicago, commends Kinetic Playground management for putting human rights principles above dollars by canceling the show.

Please put an exclamation point on this victory by buying a drink or two this Saturday night at Kinetic Playground, 1113 W. Lawrence Avenue, so that the management and staff there know that Chicago is willing to stand behind those who follow their conscience.

CALL THEM, and tell them you appreciate what they did. The Kinetic Playground  (773) 769-LIVE
EMAIL THEM  with a brief note  info  @