On 17 February, Ponsonby Road was shut down for a three-hour display of inclusivity, diversity and above all differences — a shared love for love. Pride month’s annual Pride Parade 2018 was one of its biggest, most euphoric celebrations yet.
A sea of rainbow-hued, warm and welcoming faces watched on as intricate floats glittered the street, queens turned the road to a runway, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern — a frequent attendee of past parades — became the first PM to ever grace the parade.
For this month’s music column I wanted to spotlight queer musicians and their unmatched hustle. From Troye Sivan’s (pictured, left) male pronouns infiltrating mainstream pop to the impact of Frank Ocean’s fearlessly groundbreaking 2012 coming out letter, music has never been in more of a truth seeking landscape. One of the most important aids to the LGBT community is representation, and what better way to relate and see yourself through another’s lens than through music? In between crucial dance intervals, I took to Ponsonby Road to ask the community about their favourite LGBT musician and how they’ve impacted on their own lives.
Lana — @lananmcc: My favourite LGBT artist is Auckland’s Randa because he does dope as f**k rap, has the dopest beats that go hard at every show, and the dopest fashion around. He’s also one of my best friends but I would say all of this even if he wasn’t my bestie! My favourite song by Randa is his latest, called ‘Fashion’.
Wade — @_waddles: Mykki Blanco is one of my favourite LGBTQ+ artists. I love their liberal ‘doesn’t give a f**k’ kind of attitude, and I think it’s so important to have fluid and non-binary representations of gender identifications, especially in a genre like rap that can be so flooded with stereotypes, bigotry and misogyny. Some of my favourite Mykki Blanco songs are ‘Wavvy’ and ‘Macy Rodman Flow’. In the words of the master themselves, “What the f**k I gotta prove to a room full of dudes who ain’t listening to my words cause they staring at my shoes?”
Blake — @blakemcinnes: Rapper Kevin Abstract (main image – right) represents a lot of the gay community. People see the flamboyant, colourful, girly characters in the gay community, but don’t realise that that’s only a fraction of the community. There are so many gay guys that are just like other straight identifying guys and I think Kevin represents them, and proves that they too can be out and proud and accepted for being gay — and should also be accepted by their straight peers as just as masculine, or talented or gangster or whatever they are — as their straight counterparts.
I also think Kevin’s rap boyband Brockhampton further this message as they are a group of mostly straight rappers, however their main founder and leader of the group is gay and just as good of a rapper.