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#FollowFriday, July 27: You Should Be Following These 5 Singers, Performers & Activists
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.”
? 8 years ago I moved to London. I was 19yrs old, had one months rent, no job, no friends and no back up plan. I had been drowning in depression and self loathing for many years, with a self harming problem and no way of seeing a future for myself. I came to London to find community, to find a place where I could see myself having a healthy, happy future and living around a family who would accept me for who I truly am. I love London with all my heart, she saved me and gave me a home and a space to explore and grow into the woman I am becoming. Drag gave me the release I needed from myself and since starting I haven’t self harmed in over 5 years, it also gave me the family and community I had been longing for ? thank you @janklos_photo for the gorgeous images of me at home ? #queensathome #drag #portrait #photography #mystruggle #queer #identity #pride #kawaii #pink #face
“Being a queer woman can be really confusing, and drag gives me a space to explore my gender and create myself into the superhero showgirl I always wanted to be,” Bang says.
We love this queen’s crazy colors, charisma and smile that lights up whichever space she happens to be razzle-dazzling. She performs all over the U.K. and Europe, so keep your eyes on her feed for upcoming dates and shows.
Linn da Quebrada is a trans icon for LGBTQ people in Brazil and beyond. She’s a multimedia artist and performer, using music to break down sexual, gender and body norms, whatever and wherever they may be.
Her debut album, Pajubá, was released last October. It’s an “afro-funk-vogue” record featuring a spectacular array of musical genres, with everything from electronic to ghetto beats.
Quebrada’s lyrics shed a light on the diverse queer community of her homeland, fighting out against anyone who tries to oppress them.
She tells us, “I cast the masculine away from the center and give my total focus to femme bodies and their desires.”
We love the mixture of glamour, humour and humility in this rising star’s Instagram feed.
Collective Sex have set itself on-course for a powerful mission: to “decolonize queer and femme stories about sex, body, love and healing through the production of radical media and the creation of courageous community spaces.”
It’s a collective of filmmakers, storytellers and community organizers celebrating every aspect of a deliciously diverse mixture of female, femme, queer, trans and migrant identities.
Collective Sex tells us, “Our creative process is joyful, non-binary, healing and collaborative. This is what we mean by decolonizing storytelling.”
☝️We owe everything to black women? Regrann from @newwomenspace – Her name is Therese Patricia Okoumou and she goes by Patricia. She is 44 years of age and a personal trainer. She immigrated from Congo more than 24 years ago and is a US citizen. “My heart told me to do it.” She said. “I was thinking of Lady Liberty above me, you are so huge, you have always been a symbol of welcome to people arriving in America and right now, for me under this sandal, she is a shelter.” At one point in the three-hour standoff with police, she took a brief nap. She awoke to police banging on the inside of the thin copper structure. The police officer standing at the top of the ladder introduced himself. “I said, ‘Don’t come up.’” He said, “I care about you.” I said, “No. You don’t. You could shoot me the way you shot #ClaudiaGomez and killed the trans woman, #RoxanaHernández. My life doesn’t matter to me now, what matters to me is that in a democracy we are holding children in cages.” Sleepless in federal custody that night, she says she experienced a strange tranquility. “I felt peaceful, that I was with those children in spirit. I could feel their isolation and their cries being answered only by four walls.” The children she refers to are in the 2000-3000’s who remain separated from their guardians. The Trump administration has admitted it is not sure exactly how many children were separated or how and when they will be reunited. Original Article from @guardian, Joanna Walters in NY “Are they going to Shoot Me?”: Statue of Liberty climber on her anti-Trump Protest – #regrann
So now you know. We love the way their stories come alive through a mixture of text, film, photography and paintings, scattered lovingly throughout their Instagram feed. Keep up the fabulous work, Collective Sex!
Le Fil is a gay, queer pop artist, an androgynous boy queering up the boundaries between art, music and theater. He grew up in Yorkshire and still has the super-sexy accent. He’s currently touring his show 24/7 LIVE, taking it to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Aug. 7–11.
“It’s a pop gig with extras! I love singing live, performing and dancing, but I also want the music to have a message,” he tells Hornet. “For 24/7 LIVE I’ve re-contextualized my songs into a cohesive story that starts a conversation about how we’re all ‘packaged up.’”
“It touches on our ideas of gender, how it’s formed and how it impacts relationships … mostly my experiences with rubbish men, especially gay-straight men, the closeted ones!” he says.
Check out this fabulous video of Le Fil romping around London’s Soho. It takes “fierce” to a whole new level. We’re whooping every time we see it!
Happy #FollowFriday! And follow Hornet on Instagram, too!
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