Tribe 8

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Tribe 8
OriginSan Francisco, California
GenresPunk rock
Years active1991–2005
LabelsOutpunk, Alternative Tentacles
Past membersLynn Breedlove
Leslie Mah
Flipper (Silas Howard)
Slade Bellum
Jen Schwartz
Mama T
Kat Buell

Tribe 8 was a lesbian punk rock band from San Francisco, considered one of the first queercore groups.[1] The band took their name from the practice of tribadism, with "tribe eight" being a play on the word tribade, a sexual practice sometimes also known as "scissoring."[2]

Band members[edit]

The makeup of the group changed over time, but Lynn Breedlove and Leslie Mah (formerly of Anti-Scrunti Faction) were consistent members. Other members included Flipper (Silas Howard), Slade Bellum, Jen Schwartz, Mama T, Kat Buell, and Tantrum.[3]


In concert, lead singer Breedlove frequently performed shirtless, wearing a strap-on dildo, and encouraged audience members to interact with it.[4] Their songs often deal with subjects such as S/M, nudity, fellatio, and transgender issues, and the band was the subject of controversy because of this. An article from the Chicago Tribune praised their Fireside Bowl show in 1998 stating "If the members of Tribe 8 play punk rock like they own it, it's only because they do."[5]

Tribe 8 toured throughout the United States, playing at venues such as DUMBA and 924 Gilman Street; they also played in Europe and Canada, and released a number of recordings on independent record labels.

In 1996, the band made its screen debut in A Gun For Jennifer, directed by Todd Morris. The band performs live in the documentary film She's Real, Worse Than Queer by Lucy Thane, released in 1997. Members of the band are also interviewed, speaking about a range of topics including the development of the queercore music scene. In 2003 the film Rise Above: A Tribe 8 Documentary, by director Tracy Flannigan, was released, documenting not only performances by the band but the motivations and reasons behind the band and the part it plays in their lives. The movie has won many awards at film festivals throughout the U.S.

Other work[edit]

Outside of the band, Lynn Breedlove is also the author of a novel, Godspeed, published in 2002, now translated into German as Goetterspeed, and a memoir Lynnee Breedlove's One Freak Show published in 2009, winner of the 2010 Lambda Award for Transgender Writing. Leslie Mah has appeared in various films including The Yo-Yo Gang by G. B. Jones; Shut Up White Boy, co-directed by Vu T. and Thu Ha; and produced her own film, Estrofemme, in 1998. Breedlove wrote, co-directed, co-produced, and starred in a short film, Godspeed, based on his novel. It debuted in festivals in 2007. It features Jillian Lauren, Adam Horowitz, Leslie Mah, and Bucky Sinister, with cameos by Meliza Banales and Jewelle Gomez. His comedy solo show on trans bodies, community and feminism, "Lynnee Breedlove's One Freak Show", toured worldwide from 2004-2009. He now runs Homobiles, a queer ride service.

Outside of Tribe 8, Jen Schwartz is a solo singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer who released her debut album Candy from a Stranger in 2000. She also owns Rampage Productions, a service business for musicians in Los Angeles. In 2010, she formed the band Me of a Kind. Me of a Kind's debut album is slated for release in the fall of 2010 on the Rampage Productions label.



  1. ^ Anafaith (August 23, 2006), "Review of "Rise Above"",, archived from the original on July 3, 2007, retrieved September 21, 2007
  2. ^ "Rise Above: The Tribe 8 Documentary", San Francisco Bay Guardian, July 12, 2006
  3. ^ "Where Are They Now", Tribe 8 Official Site, archived from the original on December 10, 2002, retrieved September 21, 2007
  4. ^ Baird, Don (April 18, 2002), "Lynne Breedlove Does It All", San Francisco Bay Times
  5. ^ Tribune, Chris Auman Special to the (18 May 1998). "TRIBE 8 OWNS THE STAGE, BREAKING PUNK STEREOTYPES". Retrieved 2019-03-12.

External links[edit]