Olly Alexander
Olly Alexander of Years & Years

I’ve always thought that lists or profiles of anything queer or LGTBQ+ related in the month of June, which is Pride month, were super corny. Themed content can come off as pandering or as trying to profit from the exposure of a particular group. However, I’ve come around, in a sense, because representation and visibility are important. This rings especially true for marginalized communities

But for me what’s important is accurate representation. I want to profile artists  from all of the LGBTQ+ spectrum that use their respective voices. But I don’t want this to be me exploiting gender identity and sexual orientation. My goal is to profile artists who aren’t defined by identity but incorporate it in their music and represent it realistically and don’t stick to stereotypes or fetishize anything.

When we look at criticism around Rita Ora’s latest single “Girls” featuring Charli XCX, Bebe Rexha and Cardi B and the response it got from fans and queer artists like Kehlani and Hayley Kiyoko it is important to have adequate representation of sexuality and gender that doesn’t play into tired tropes. That being said I don’t think extensive apologies from the artists are necessary or that coverage of the song continues. Charli XCX, who writes music specifically for gay men’s ears, commented on the song last week saying how the intent was never to be offensive to the LGBTQ+ community. And rather the song’s lyrics were an attempt to stay true to the artists experiences in relationships with women (at least for Rita Ora and Cardi B).

So instead of focusing on the negative the conversation should shift to seeking out more queer and LGBTQ+ identified artists and profile them seeing as they don’t get the exposure they deserve. This is just a working list and I’ll gladly take any suggestions anyone has in the comments. Posts will be every Monday and Friday for the month of June. Happy Pride Month!

Here is a list of some of the artists and bands I will be profiling over the course of the month: 

Tegan and Sara (you should know them by now, honestly)

Hayley Kiyoko

Years & Years

Kelela  

Kim Petras

RuPaul’s Drag Race Alumni

Pabllo Vittar

Holland

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