#FollowFriday, July 27: You Should Be Following These 5 Singers, Performers & Activists
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Each of the fabulous #FollowFriday accounts featured this week are LGBTQ rising stars telling stories in a dazzling array of directions. They are stories that will guide you, whichever way you’re going. So whatever inspires you, you’re about to get a whole lot more of it.
We’re not sure what’s more gorgeous, Jack O Rourke’s music or his dashing good looks. A singer-songwriter from Ireland, O’Rourke’s song “Silence” became a torch for the yes vote in the country’s marriage equality referendum in 2015. And his moving performance on The Late Late Show will have you captivated from its first few bars.
O’Rourke tells Hornet, “When I was younger, I used to downplay being gay. I sang with heavy rock bands, but the piano always called me back. I don’t like stereotypes or putting myself in a box, but queer themes have always inspired my songwriting. My music is often quite hard rock and blues, but ethereal melodies always creep in like the ghost of Freddie Mercury.”
“I wrote ‘Silence’ about realizing I was different when I was 4,” he says. “I asked Santa for a kitchen, and he brought me one. My parents were ahead of their time.”
O’Rourke’s latest single, “Myth,” comes out on July 28. It’s a 21st century homage to Bonnie Tyler’s “I Need a Hero” with gorgeously queered-up, mythical themes, comparing the perfect lover to Achilles, Perseus and Icarus: “The message is, the ideal doesn’t always work out but real couples can make myths and legends through honesty, chemistry and obviously great torsos!”
If you’ve ever wondered what a self-styled “queer queen showgirl clown” might look like, look no further than TeTe Bang, a professional party starter from the UK’s gorgeous northern seaside resort town of Blackpool. It’s one of the campest places ever, and so is she.
TeTe Bang uses comedy and cabaret to tell stories that explore what it means to be a modern day feminist. “I came up from the alternative burlesque scene but realized I didn’t really fit in,” she tells Hornet. “I was always aware of my queerness, so things really changed for me when I found my tribe in the queens and queers of London’s nightlife.”
On getting into drag, TeTe Bang tells us it wasn’t intentional: “I had always used fashion and costume to explore and express certain parts of my own identity. It just happened to be that the kawaii clown I became could be described as a drag queen.”