Source: ABC News Article by Stephanie Escobar
June doesn’t just bring nicer weather, summer time, and more outdoor adventures. It brings a time to celebrate individuals and the pride of being able to be your true self and to be able to love freely. In music more than ever it’s a place where artists are able to express themselves freely and talk about the challenging topics that arise in the LGBT community. These artists have managed to open up about being a part of that community and allies to individuals to show them that they belong and are free to be who they are freely.
Bad Bunny has served as an international LatinX icon breaking through the mainstream charts. He is one of the artists that has used his status to shed light on issues such as gender norms, machismo, and speaks up for LGBT rights. The singer himself became vocal about the death of Alexa Negron Luciano; a trans woman that was brutally beaten to death in Puerto Rico and caused many to be outraged. Bad Bunny went on Jimmy Fallon wearing a t-shirt that said “They killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt” in Spanish with a black skirt bringing a powerful message against transphobia. He is setting a good example on what it is to be an ally and his song “Yo Perreo Sola” shed light on having respects towards women.
Originally from Kentucky, Chaz Cardigan came out at the age of 13. “ There was a lot of tension with students and parents and teachers around it, and that was an awkwardness I had to learn to navigate really early. Thankfully I had music as a way to cope.” he states in a Billboard Interview. Cardigan started performing at the age of 17and became known for his genre bending music. Being a professionally trained pianist he taught himself the bass, guitar and drums. In his upbeat, pop-rock song “Not OK!” He speaks about mental health, simply not being okay, and unapologetically being true to yourself. A great message to send to individuals that struggle with saying “i’m not okay” and that seeking help is important.
Gia Woods is a pop queen on the rise. She first got her viral hit in 2015 with the release of “Only a Girl”. She told Vice i-D “Since a lot of songs I wrote weren’t specifically stating ‘he’ or ‘she,’ I remember the day that song was written, I just wanted to be honest”. Woods became involved with music at a young age as she played the violin and also was part of a choir which catapulted her love for singing. Her music embodies same sex love and she quickly joined a community of other artists that openly represent the LGBT community in music.
Jakk Flynn, a LatinX transgender pop artist is someone whose music career will have a diversifying affect in the music industry and pop music. “Mainstream representation isn’t just important, it’s lifesaving.” Flynn states in an interview with HuffPost. In the words of Flynn, representation is lifesaving for many people who have felt like they haven’t been seen. With the release of his “Cancelled EP”, he gives us pop influenced and even reggaeton inspired tracks such as “Special” all while singing on love, rejection, and healing. He is definitely paving a lane for other trans artists to walk and gain success in this industry.
KERA, or also known as Kera & The Lesbians, which started off as an inside joke between the band members as Kera is the only queer band member. Kera Armendariz is an LA based artist and KERA has been popularly known as one of the best live acts in LA. Being labelled under the genre Bipolar Folk, which was what the band settled on when conflicted on where exactly they landed on the genre spectrum. Their music explores grief, loss, and love but also providing hope. Identifying as genderqueer, they spoke about how they often can be missgendered by others on a Billboard interview. “I want to be the best voice I can be, and at least a positive light in whatever way I can, artistically," they said on Billboard.
Mila Jam is a singer-songwriter who has become a part of the queer music scene while also being an avid trans activist. Using her talent with writing and her videos she sheds light on important issues that are prevalent in the LGBT community. She participated in the #StopKillingUs campaign (which one of the shots is above) to bring awareness to the murders of trans victims. Her latest single 80’s inspired “Eye on You” has an uplifting vibe that has us ready a summertime of fun.
Quentin Arispe is an artist who is ready to make a name for themselves among great talent. “I want people in five or six years to be like, ‘Prominent people from Texas: Beyonce, Selena, Quentin,’” said Arispe in an Island Waves interview. I truly believe that Quentin Arispe; a self proclaimed genderless artist will be remembered with those queens. Quentin has a powerful voice and their music gets influences from Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, and the Queen Bee herself. With Arispe’s recent release of “FRUIT” the album serves as a message of empowerment for others by navigating different emotions through life. Quentin Arispe is a creative powerhouse for the LGBT community and will definitely set a path for other queer artist to follow.
Wafia is very diverse when it comes to her music. She is really close to her Arabic and Muslim heritage, which influences her song-writing about Syrian refugees, but doesn't stop her from writing about falling in love with a girl. Wafia’s music embodies the sound of R&B and electronic, and made it her own to create beautiful songs. In an interview with Teeth Magazine, Wafia talks about her inspirations, “I think of the people around me; in the stories that I live through them, or if I see that something’s really affecting them. Humanity is really inspiring to me, especially people and their stories." Wafia truly shows her bond with people and is able to show the soul of others through her writing.