The queer singer-songwriter and performance artist shares all the things that make them proud to accompany their Flamboyant photo series.
Gender-fluid performance artist and future-ready singer-songwriter Dorian Electra shares the people, places and memories that make them proud to be a part of the queer community.
While many people see Pride as a once-a-year celebration, for those in the LGBTQ community, it’s part of their everyday experiences. For singersongwriter Dorian Electra, that means making music that defies gender norms, throwing epic queer parties with the likes of Charli XCX and Rina Sawayama, and living their best ‘femmebot fantasy’ for the world to see.
To celebrate the evergreen nature of Pride, we asked Dorian to share all the memories, people and places that make them proud to be part of the LGBTQ community. I’m proud of, and extremely grateful for, my family. My grandmother, aunts and uncles on both sides, but especially my mom and dad, who have always been totally accepting, loving, and supportive of me and the different ways I’ve chosen to express myself growing up. My parents often had gay and gender non-conforming friends and co-workers who were a big part of my life from a young age, so I was really lucky to not experience a sense of shame surrounding those identities. I knew that this kind of acceptance wasn’t the norm for many others, especially growing up Texas. And my parents made sure I knew how lucky I was to live in such a ‘liberal bubble’ as we fondly called it, in the middle of Houston. One of my favourite memories of high school was on prom night, my junior year (17 years old), when my mom helped my best male friend dress in drag for the first time. She lent him her bra and helped him stuff it with tissues and did his makeup for him. She also helped me dress up as a “dead zombie prom queen” and she did my makeup to look dead-butstill-glamorous, which was my form of rebellion against the traditional school event. Growing up, my dad was also always very comfortable in his masculinity and would wear rhinestone encrusted reading glasses, tight jeans, and always embraced elements of a more ‘feminine’ rock ’n’ roll aesthetic. He encouraged me and my friends to perform, make music, be flamboyant, and shared his love for David Bowie, Mick Jaer, and Alice Cooper with me the moment I came out of the womb.
One of my favourite parts of touring this year has been getting to experience the queer community in a lot of smaller cities, especially those in the south and the midwest, where the underground queer scene feels a lot newer and where younger performers have had to really actively foster and create that scene, as opposed to NYC or LA or other major cities where it’s existed for decades longer. Places like Minneapolis, Atlanta, Dallas, and particularly my hometown, Houston (where so much has changed since I first performed there even two years ago) were especially inspiring to see.
I’m so grateful for every queer artist who has ever inspired me, particularly the drag queens, club kids, and performers in Chicago who really welcomed me into the community and made me at home and like I could be myself yet also challenged me to push the boundaries of my own personal expression and art. And I’m so proud to be able to call so many of these artists my friends.
I’m so grateful for all the folks in my life who helped me learn the importance of intersectionality – how ‘queer’ issues intersect with issues of race, ability, class, orientation, nationality and gender, and how these issues can’t be separated if they are to be effectively addressed. I believe that this expanded and more holistic understanding is the future of the strule for what has been simply called ‘gay rights’ in the past, and is where we should be focusing our energy. We have to understand our differences, our privileges or lack thereof, our backgrounds and how all of these things contribute to our current experience in order to better understand how to improve these experiences for all.