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LGBTQ+ In the City: April 2019

The windows are being opened and the music is being played, Spring is here. This paper is called “The Sound” so, I thought I would turn it up and talk about the sounds of the LGBTQ+.

I did a little research and I came up with some absolutely superb Canadian artists. Not only are they talented but they’re also doing some pretty fantastic things in the community.

BIF NAKED

First off, I have to start off with the one and only, Bif Naked aka Beth Hopkins. She was born in New Delhi, India but she grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her genres are, rock, pop and pop punk. She is a singer-songwriter, actress, model and motivational speaker. I remember jamming out to such songs as “Spaceman”, and “Moment Of Weakness”.

She also wrote a song called, “Everything” in 1995,in which she detailed her attractions to women and the relationships she had with them. She has always been very open about her bisexuality. I myself always looked up to her because of her openness about her sexuality. In 2007 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and by 2009 she had beat the breast cancer with a lumpectomy and chemotherapy. This woman is unstoppable! She is also a sexual assault survivor. She has such a story of strength and resilience. I’m honoured to write about one of Canada’s greatest female artists and to share some of her story with you.

LAL

Here is a band I recently discovered while doing research for this article. LAL is a Toronto based collective of musicians; genres include such as house, ambient, and downtempo. The trio includes Rosina Kazi, Nicholas Murray and Ian de Sousa. LAL has been at the forefront of the Canadian diasporic music scene since 1998! I recommend you check out something from earlier in their career, a song called “Musty City” and one of their more recent releases that I really enjoyed,“Sen Ben”. We can’t talk about their music without mentioning their political passions and their steadfast support for social justice movements — including issues facing Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ, BIPOC and allied communities — as they are for their languorous brand of West Indian- and African-influenced electronic music. I had a chance to listen to some of LAL’s songs and I must say, I felt completely laid back and relaxed while listening, I recommend checking them out

TEGAN AND SARA

Tegan Rain Quin and Sara Kiersten Quin waiting for a ride curbside at the San Diego Airport on their 28th birthday, September 19, 2008.

Tegan and Sara, the dynamic duo, the lesbian twin sisters from Alberta. They are both writers and they play many instruments between the two of them. The pair have been very open about their sexuality from the beginning. They hit the indie music scene in 1995. They were considered and still are, indie rock, indie pop and and indie folk. The sisters have released 8 albums over the years. Some of my favourites include “White Knuckles”, “Closer”, and the song that had me hooked was “Walking With A Ghost”. These girls have been creating hit after hit but it hasn’t always been easy. They have spent many years handling sexisim and homophobia in the music industry, yet Tegan and Sara have remained amazing role models throughout their career. Tegan and Sara launched a foundation for LGBTQ+ girls and women. The foundation is modeled after similar organizations like GLADD LGBT Center and the Audre Lorde Project according to the founders. “Our mission is fight for economic justice, health and representation for the LGBTQ + girls and women”. I will always recommend this band!! I can’t even name a few favourite songs, I love them all!

LUCAS SILVEIRA

The last artist is one of my favourites. Lucas Silveira is a Canadian vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter from Toronto. His genre is rock land folk. Lucas formed and played in the band The Cliks. He is credited as the first open trans man to be signed to a major record label. I had the absolute honour to see Lucas perform with the Cliks a couple times, and to this day, I am still blown away by anything he creates. I have so much respect for him as a writer. His words have touched so many hearts. The album Snakehouse was released in 2007 by Warner Music in Canada. “Complicated” is definitely a song I will always remember, as well as “Still”, and “Oh Yeah”. I’ve always found his music to be quite timeless, as it always fits any playlists just right. He is not only an artist, he is a trans activist who also works hard to bring awareness to suicide. Lucas launched a social media campaign to create awareness around suicide ideation and self-harm in 2017. I reached out to Lucas and asked him if he would like to make a comment to add to this article and he was more than happy to share some really cool news with me.

“I’m currently working on a musical that will be a multi discipleship piece based on some biographical passages of my life. I’m very excited about it.”
To those of you who already know how talented Lucas Silveira is, I know this news excites you! To the rest of you, do yourselves a favour and check out Lucas and all of the other artists I mentioned in this edition of LGBTQ+ In The City.

If you are an LGBTQ+ artist or musician, please feel free to reach out to thesoundstc@gmail.com or falynnrshaw@gmail.com to talk about the possibility of a feature story about yourself.

Written by Falynn Shaw

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  1. As a local, queer musician, I

    appreciate this monthly column, Falynn Shaw.

    I’d like to suggest the obvious topic of a series of interviews with local queer musicians, lyricists, composers, instrumentalists, orchestra conductors, musical directors, music professors, teachers, tutors, instrument builders, etc.

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