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Heavy metal has been a huge part of my life for more than 20 years.Some of the best people I've ever met have been metalheads.But, like every other type of culture, its image to outsiders is largely informed by its loudest segment regardless of how small that segment is.

It's my hope that the reasonable people reading these posts will engage in calm, rational debate in the comments section despite the reactionary sewage that will almost certainly bubble up from the nastiest, smelliest depths of Metal Injection's commenting community.

Metalheads love patting themselves on the back about how inclusive the heavy metal scene is.

However, unless you're a heterosexual white male who wears cargo pants and band shirts exclusively, the heavy metal community may not feel all that welcoming to you.

That's not to say that the majority of fans aren't good people, but, historically, the scene hasn't been the friendliest of places for those who don't fit a specific mold.

Attitudes are definitely getting more progressive, but even a brief glance at the comments on a Facebook page or article published by any of the major metal sites reveals a stinking cesspool of racism, misogyny, and homophobia.

The metal community, specifically the online metal community, can be an especially harsh place for homosexuals, who, at any given moment, have to stomach all manner of repulsive behavior from the maladjusted imbeciles who inhabit the comments section here at Metal Injection and every other major metal website on the Internet.It's offensive enough that some of these mouth breathers still resort to using gay as a substitution for bad at every opportunity, but, for the last few years, faggot has been slowly becoming the go-to insult for reactionary cretins who can't think of an intelligent response to an opinion they disagree with.This isn't something unique to heavy metal; reasonable voices in religion, atheism, politics, and geek/gaming culture are constantly drowned out by a chorus of shrieking trolls who can't handle dissenting opinions or questioning of the status quo .I'm tired of always having to justify my love of metal by explaining to outsiders that most metalheads really are good people and not angry, dumb ogres.I'm also tired of the intolerance and unwavering dogmatism that infects this community that I otherwise love.Some of you clowns are ruining it for the rest of us, and the purpose of this new semi-regular series called The Problem With Heavy Metal Is Metalheads is to point out some problems within our community and hopefully work to correct them.

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