17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

The Insane Clown Posse and their clown brotherhood showed up to the FBI’s doorstep to protest their classification as a “gang.”

Photographer Jared Soares
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

This past weekend in Washington, D.C., the clown-faced followers of horrorcore rap group Insane Clown Posse, known as Juggalos, gathered for a family reunion of sorts to protest the FBI, who has refused to rescind the "gang" classification that was placed on them by the government in 2011. According to the misunderstood attendees who came from all over the country to band together — family is what the core of being a Juggalo is all about and they would never mean anyone any harm.

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Beyond the music, the Faygo (the Detroit soft drink that has become the unofficial drink of Juggalos), the Hatchetman (the mascot associated with Juggalo culture), and the "Whoop! Whoop!" rallying cries, is the idea of togetherness. Since the FBI label, members of the group have found themselves in a fight that has resulted in lost jobs, children, and much more.

Some of the Juggalos on the march spoke to The FADER to help demystify the subculture that means so much to them.

Darnell from Raleigh, North Carolina and Jordan from Durham, North Carolina
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

What does being a Juggalo mean to you?

Darnell: Family, commitment, music. For a long time I didn’t even follow the clowns, [but then], I opened my eyes and as I accepted it and became comfortable with who I am as myself, everyone else loved me even more — all the family surrounding me that I didn’t know existed.

Jordan: What is a Juggalo? I don’t fucking know, bro. All I know is I grew up listening to Insane Clown Posse because my older brother did, and any time I run into any of his homies all of them got nothing but love for me because I’m his brother. It’s a lot of love out here, it’s a beautiful thing.

Why are you at the march today?

Darnell: For my child. I’m a father, I have an 11-year-old in private school — it’s just for her future. It’s for the future of all the kids out here. We’re all husbands, fathers, business owners, police officers, and even military men who’ve lost some of their privileges of life because of the actions of a few. People do things in the name of different things but a million people aren’t doing the same thing. That’s why we’re out here to prove we aren’t criminals and this is music and it saves a lot of lives. It has saved millions and millions of lives and future generations of kids will see so much love from these stoners and weirdos who call them princesses and princes. No matter where you land, if you see a Juggalo and you show love, you’ll forever be taken care of and have a home. It’s a hospice around the world.

Roger from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

What does being a Juggalo mean to you?

Roger: I joined this culture as an outsider and more so than the music, it became a community, a culture. Of course the music brings everybody together, but to be considered in the same breath as some of the heinous gangs in the country is ludicrous and I’m out here to show my support for that. Every Juggalo I’ve ever met and been associated with has been an outstanding human being and would do anything for another human. Not just another Juggalo but anybody. Give them the shirt off their back, give them their last bottle or whatever, it’s all about family. So when they’re calling out family it isn’t just a slogan or a chant. It’s for real.

Why are you here at the march today?

Roger: I’m here to support my Juggalo family.

Jacob and Jeremy, from Salt Lake City, Utah
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

What does being a Juggalo mean to you?

Jacob: It’s just a family brought together by music.

Jeremy: It’s just a lifestyle, it’s a meaning to life for us. It gives point to our lives when we didn’t have any.

Why are you here at the march today?

Jacob: It hasn’t happened to me but other Juggalos they get harassed by law enforcement because of what they listen to or what they wear and it just isn’t right.

Jeremy: I haven’t had anything very serious happen to me. I’ve had high schools tell me I can’t wear Hatchet gear and I fought them about that. But it’s for everybody else that has been harassed and the fact that I could be harassed at any point.

Xiola from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

What does being a Juggalo mean to you?

Xiola: It means solidarity for a group of people who’ve been through a lot of tough times — drug addiction, a few broken homes, abuse. All of us come together and we feel like a family. Right now it’s an emotional moment for all of us because we’re marching to make everyone know we’re a family, not a gang, no matter what our government says.

Why are you here at the march today?

Xiola: Because I fucking love my Juggalo family, whoop, whoop!

Katrina from Asheville, North Carolina
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

What does being a Juggalo mean to you?

Katrina: Being a part of a family that appreciates me for me and will accept me and I’ll accept them, and I know I have their back and they have mine.

Why are you here at the march today?

Katrina: To show that they do not need to be labeled a gang. It is ridiculous and there’s such bigger problems that need to be addressed that this is the last thing that they should be dealing with.

Stephan and Ashley with their son Adam from Baltimore, Maryland
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

What does being a Juggalo mean to you?

Stephan: It means unity and family through music.

Ashley: Everybody is nice to everybody. It’s just a brotherhood and sisterhood. Everybody helps everybody. If I meet a stranger they ask me if I’m ok or if I need help with anything. It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of.

Stephan: We take care of one another even if we don’t know each other. I’ve was homeless at one point in time and I’ve actually had other Juggalos help me out and they didn’t even know me, and just because of the unity and the familyhood through the music.

Why are you at the march today?

Stephan: I’m here for my kids and the Juggalos who have been discriminated against so that in the future, hopefully all of this can be ended and we can be looked upon like other music families, because we might be different but we’re not all that different — we just look it. There’s a lot of people here that aren’t involved in the following and I’m glad they’re here that way they can know so they’re not ignorant and they know what we are.

Rocco from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

What does being a Juggalo mean to you?

Rocco: A free spirit and a thinker. A dickhead, asshole, scumbag...in a lump sum.

Why are you here at the march today?

Rocco: Because you can’t put people that like music on a gang list. That’s retarded, it’s unconstitutional, it’s a waste of tax money. It’s just a waste of all time in general to put people that love music on a federal gang list. The only time the gang list was made publicly was 2011 but it was never made public again. If they mute us then they’re gonna try and mute everybody.

Chris from Germantown, Maryland
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

What does being a Juggalo mean to you?

Chris: It means loving anybody and everybody simply because they’re them. We don’t discriminate because of your race, color, creed, religion, or sexual orientation. We don’t care what kind of music you like, we just care that you’re accepting of us and you love us and we love you back. We welcome you into our family and we want to introduce you to our music and if you don’t like it that’s cool too. But we really hope that you understand that we’re a family. If you look around you, you can see that. I’m sure you’ve heard stories about us, but as you look around, I can’t imagine any of those stories seem to ring true right now.

Why are you here at the march today?

Chris: I’m here because I know that a shadow of a doubt we are not a gang. I know who we are and I’ve been a Juggalo. This for me is a family. It’s a support group, it’s unity, these are people I know and love and would do anything for. For some reason the world hates us, the FBI hates us, the government hates us, and I don’t know why. We’re here to prove to the world that we’re not inbred, uneducated, sick, sadistic freaks. We’re people. We like crazy music? So what. People like Slayer. People like Slipknot. What’s the honest difference? And if you’re the kind of person that says “Well they’re good at music.” So what? So let somebody like music that you don’t think is good. How is it affecting you? How is it bothering you?

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Rich from Oakland, California
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

What does being a Juggalo mean to you?

Rich: Being an individual, being yourself. Don’t fake the funk for anybody. Just being an individual and having fun with the music.

Why are you here at the march today?

Rich: Just the way we’re being treated is wrong, especially me being a person of color too. I already have a big ass target on my back just being black and now I have to worry about being black and a Juggalo.

Christian from Los Angeles, California
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

What does being a Juggalo mean to you?

Christian: Being a non-discriminatory, open-minded, inclusionary person. You’re gonna be hard-pressed to find anybody outside the culture who’s gonna dig deep enough to see the positive messages that exist within the music so they’re just gonna hear sort of the exterior which is a lot of fucks and what have you. So I don’t blame people for misunderstanding it but when it comes to making laws about it that’s kind of a step beyond and it warrants this march.

Why are you here at the march today?

Chris: Solidarity, man. I grew up on ICP, had a lot of good times with it. I met up with a friend from back home who we haven’t been to an ICP event since high school so for old times sake we decided we were going to get together and march for the Juggalos.

Timothy and Theresa from Southern California
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

What does being a Juggalo mean to you?

Timothy: Family.

Theresa: It is about family for me as well. I found the Juggalo lifestyle when I was at a very low time in my life. I should’ve been at a high time because I had survived cancer and was doing really good with my life, and then I had a terrible thing happen with a relationship and I found myself with no friends, no one, kind of alone, not knowing where to start off in life. And then I met Timothy and I was anti-Juggalo. I had heard terrible things about them but he was so sweet and so nice that I thought, There’s got to be more to this. So as I would listen to the music with him it became therapeutic. It gave me my voice back, it gave me my strength back, it gave me so much that I had lost and I had found family and friends and everything that I was missing. And at my very first Gathering, tears in my eyes, I said, “This was what was missing.” Genuine true people who don’t judge you for anything. They’re just happy they want to be friends with you too.

Why are you here at the march today?

Theresa: To represent anybody that has ever had a problem because they’re a Juggalo. If somebody like me could find solace in this community then it is not a violent community. So we’re here to show normal, everyday people are Juggalos. We’re not crazy, we’re not gang members. We’re your neighbors.

Melina, Jajuan, and Tiffany from Upper Marlboro, Maryland
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

What does being a Juggalo mean to you?

Melina: It means to have fun and support our Juggalos. No Juggalo is normal so it’s about being yourself and not caring because you’re surrounded by family.

Why are you here at the march today?

Melina: Because we’re not a gang. We have nothing to do with a gang. My sister is 12-years-old. She’s not in a gang.

Kurt, Afton, Blaine, Marlee, and Liberty from Columbus, Ohio
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family

What does being a Juggalo mean to you?

Kurt: To live your life.

Why are you here at the march today?

Kurt: To represent and watch out for family.

17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family
17 Juggalos on what they wish the world would understand about their crazy, loving family