By Olivia Holmes
Not even the middle of the year and there’s already so much that’s happened.
Politics, Conflict, Covid-19, Celebrity Gossip, I could go on.
But there’s something I want to talk about.
On the 19th of May Demi Lovato (you know, Disney Channel, Cool for the Summer Demi) came out as non-binary. I don’t know what you guys think, but I was overjoyed. Not only is this a massive step for them, but having more non-binary people in the spotlight is awesome.
Which brings me to what I’m going to be talking about today. Reflecting on Demi’s coming out, I’d love to go through some iconic people within the music industry who are a part of the LGBT community, especially in this wonderful month of June!
Don't tell your mother
Kiss one another
Die for each other
We're cool for the summer
Yes, I’m going to talk about them some more. If you didn’t know, Demi Lovato is an American singer who, along with working in Disney in Camp Rock and Sonny with a Chance, is a very successful artist with some absolute bangers such as the previously mentioned Cool for the Summer and Heart Attack. However, it should not be forgotten that they came out as Pansexual not even a few months back in March. First of all, just saying anything that massive is incredibly brave and inspiring, but especially when it comes to Non-Binary people this kind of exposure is so beneficial.
Unfortunately, we do live in a world where said identity is constantly invalidated because of the belief that some people hold that there are only two genders. I tend to disagree, but non-binary people be out in the public sphere as themselves means other people who feel the same way have someone to look up to! Which is awesome. Seeing Demi accept their authentic self and be able to tell us is incredibly inspiring.
-MARIE ULVEN RINGHIEM-
No, this is not a phase
Or a coming of age
This will never change
'Cause I don't know what to do
It's not like I get to choose who I love
Similarly, Marie has been a massive inspiration to the LGBTQ+ community as someone who has been able to not only produce amazing music that allows for queer relationships to take the spotlight, but has kind of changed some aspects of LGBTQ+, especially sapphic culture.
Don’t know who this is?
Well, you might know her as Girl in Red.
If you’re even somewhat in the internet sphere, you might have heard the phrase “Do you listen to Girl in Red?” pop up at least once or twice. Spoiler Alert: They’re not talking about music. This simple phrase has embedded itself within sapphic culture as it’s primarily used to identify other sapphic people.
Anyways, Girl in Red has kind of become one the staples of LGBTQ+ culture, creating songs that focus on sapphic couples as just that, couples. While she does have a pride-specific song and absolute bop known as girls (very subtle, I know,) the best thing about her music is that it depicts every-day couples with no fanfare towards the fact it just happens to feature two women.
I think another thing that has helped bring these artists into the spotlight is, shudder, TikTok. Songs from Marie such as I wanna be your girlfriend and we fell in love in October both had “trends” in which clips of each are used for people to lip-sync to, or show off incredibly cute couples that totally didn’t make me jealous.
Overall, Marie’s music has made a massive impact within not only the LGBTQ+ community, but within the wider music-sphere.
-TYLER, THE CREATOR-
Garden shed, garden shed, garden shed, garden shed
For the garden
That is where I was hidin'
That is what love I was I in
Ain't no reason to pretend
So, where to even begin?
Being one of the most influential and ground-breaking artists of the most recent decade, Tyler, The Creator is one of the most inspiring and honestly, awe-inspiring artists of late.
The best thing, however, is that he never really had a massive coming out. There was no tweet. No announcement. There isn’t anything even on his twitter about pride this year. Granted, Tyler’s rhetoric, where you can’t really tell if he’s joking or not, probably threw the internet for a loop, but his “coming out” on the track Gardenshed in the vulnerable and introspective Flower Boy, and even more so with the narrative driven and emotional powerhouse that is IGOR, Tyler’s identity has simultaneously fuelled some of my favourite works from him, all the while remaining very low-key and chill about it all. In an interview with Larry King in 2014 when King asked if he thinks there will ever be a gay rap artist he simply asked “Why does that sh*t matter? Why do we care? Like that’s so f*cking crazy,” which I tend to agree with, and this perfectly describes how his attitude towards coming out and self expression.
Personally, his work on IGOR is one of my favourite pieces of music of all time, and is not only an inspiration as an LGBTQ+ person, but just in the artistry of his work, the sound and the content, but you guys know that, I think calling Tyler unbelievably talented isn’t a new opinion, but if you haven’t checked it out, his music is amazing.
And that’s only a few.
While there are so many more artists that I’ve definitely missed, I think looking through different genres of music is extremely beneficial to see all the different types of artists within the music industry, so I recommend finding some more artists and supporting them! If you need a place to start, I’ve linked a pretty good Spotify playlist to get you started! I say that it’s good because I made it myself.
Happy listening and happy pride!