From my gays to yours... HAPPY PRIDE!
Happy (end of) Pride Month from your local queer/bisexual, cisgendered (she/her pronouns), white and able- bodied chick! As a Gender, Sexuality, Feminism, and Social Justice studies major, I find that my queer experience has been a particularly academic one. I am only just now beginning to create my personal LGBTQIA+ community and support system after being out for about three years. I am lucky to have past partners who still to this day offer their support and stay in touch. Dating women and identifying as queer/bisexual has been an empowering experience of growth, confidence, and very caring love.
Whether it’s Janelle Monae, Kehlani, Ericka Harte, King Princess or The L Word, queer culture has been a source of comfort, resilience, and identification for me in a world full of heteronormativity. As these sources of media have resonated with me, I thought I would share with you a little background behind each of them in a pride friendly recommendation list, as inspired by one of my favorite gay bloggers Natalie Geisel (https://www.collegefashionista.com/pride-month-playlist/).
Dirty Computer, the album by Janelle Monae, has been booming in my headphones and out of my car stereo since it came out. Monae is a recently out pansexual, polyamorous femme singer, artist, and actor who always glows in her inventive fashion choices. Her album preaches the elevation of black, queer voices, self love, honesty, and solidarity in the pain that is the Trump era. The visual album for Dirty Computer is colorful, lively, flirty, futuristic, femme, and unapologetically feminist. My favorite tracks from this album are “I Like That”, “Screwed”, and “Django Jane”.
Kehlani, back in her Soundcloud era, was my first queer musical love. Recently her “Honey” and “What I Need”, featuring Hayley Kiyoko, have blown up for their heartwarming and loving gay AF storylines- they have no doubt left me in a cute girl- filled daydream. In the middle of studying for my summer class final, I took an Instagram break to notice the “What I Need” music video which served some real “friends or more?” vibes, ending with all the Kehley (Kehlani + Hayley) vibes I never knew I needed to get me through those last few hours of studying. In that stressed out daze, I could barely see the light at the end of the tunnel- LA Pride with my sister Clare and her lovely partner Carlyn.
LA Pride was such a calming, accepting, and happy experience for me- easily one of the most fun weekends of my life. Clare, Carlyn, and I were full of smiles and belted out Dirty Computer lyrics in every free moment. What made pride so special to me was that for once, I finally felt like a part of the community. On Saturday, we stage hopped around the venue after narrowly getting entrance when the event was oversold. Despite her tardiness and technical difficulties, Kehlani performed exceptionally and the crowd, in record breaking numbers, was revived by her unbelievable dancing and vocals. During the parade on Sunday we saw Youtube icon Hannah Hart (of Drunk Kitchen) and posted up to watch Drag Queens from ages 10 up dressed in gorgeous outfits and makeup. Mad props to them, I could never make it through a single night in heels, let alone an entire day of parading. A surprising amount of dogs were at the parade, dressed or dyed in their rainbow gear as well. I would like to thank Clare and Carlyn for making my first pride so amazing. Clare, thank you for being the best support a queer gal could ask for.
Beyond happy to see my favorite sex- educating and podcast -making couple Ericka Harte and Ebony Donnley as one of the cover stars for the New York Times series “Love City” (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/07/magazine/new-york-love-city.html) . Ericka (she/they) and Ebony (he/him) preach sex education, decolonization, and continue to situate their experiences of misogynoir, transphobia, and racism in their personal histories of trauma and the inherited traumas of their ancestors. My favorite episode thus far has been their most recent, titled “Happy Pride: We are Coming OUT!” (https://soundcloud.com/user-501838661/happy-pride-we-are-coming-out) which explored the way Pride celebrations have evolved from a protest to a capitalistic party mostly void of recognition of the trans/femme sex workers who fought in the Stonewall Riots. I would beyond recommend subscribing to their podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud and follow @ihartericka on Instagram (and keep an eye out for Instagram stories for endless giggles and important conversations featuring Ebony)! Thank you Ericka and Ebony for doing unbelievable work.
King Princess is a genderqueer artist who released her EP, Make My Bed, this June after single “1950” blew up, now with over 96 million listens on Spotify. Serving The L Word vibes with her androgynous fashion and Instagram pics, King Princess also knows how to break a girl’s heart with her reminiscent lyrics of a past queer love. I cannot wait to hear more from her. Check out her interview with best friend, actor, and fellow gay queen Amandla Stenberg here- https://www.wonderlandmagazine.com/2018/06/18/amandla-stenberg-wonderland/.
Speaking of The L Word… I cannot stop watching. Currently deep into season two, I am obsessed with everything about it- the clothes, character development, and the addressing of a variety of LGBTQIA+ experiences. Dropping into Goodwill the other day I found myself choosing clothes based on whether or not the cast of The L Word would approve. Catch me serving Dana Fairbanks inspired looks all summer long.
As we near the end of pride month, take some time to remember to recognize both the privileges and the oppressions you experience as an individual. Try to take a step back and notice what you have been blessed with. I myself am lucky to have a loving and supportive biological family that accepts my sexuality. To anyone out there struggling to find acceptance of their sexuality or gender identity, you are not alone. I am here for you- please feel free to DM me on Instagram or shoot me an email at email@example.com.
Thanks for reading, let me know in the comments if you enjoyed the post this lovely June day or if you have any feedback!