DO­RIAN ELEC­TRA.

The queer singer-song­writer and per­for­mance artist shares all the things that make them proud to ac­com­pany their Flam­boy­ant photo series.

Gay Times Magazine - - CONTENTS: - Pho­tog­ra­phy We­ston Allen Words Daniel Me­garry Fam­ily. Friends. Com­mu­nity. Queer artists. In­ter­sec­tion­al­ity.

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 Jašer, 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 strušle 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.

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