The One-Oh: 01. Zanele Muholi Somnyama Ngonyama 02. Janelle Monáe Dirty Computer 03. Fluide Beauty Blue Duo Set 04. Sophia Wallace Storm Pin 05. NOTO Botanics Agender Oil 06. Personals Instagram + App 07. Hearts Beat Loud 08. Hayley Kiyoko Girls Like Girls Lapel Pin 09. Queer Appalachia Electric Dirt Zine 10. Chani Nicholas Horoscopes
After geeking out over text message about the Hearts Beat Loud trailer with Dinner Party contributor and self-described “Boston-based queer witchy woman” Lacey Oliver, we decided to bring back DP’s One-Oh column in honor of Pride Month by highlighting our favorite LGBTQ artists, musicians, business owners, and other badass folks working on a variety of innovative and inspiring projects. And yes, before you say anything, we know that Pride Month is *technically* over. But when you find yourself that excited about so many queer-led enterprises, it sometimes takes an entire month—including dozens of texts, a few hours on FaceTime, and an in-person meeting in New York City—to sift through all of your ideas. Needless to say, it was tough whittling this list down to ten, but here are our picks to help you celebrate Pride Month all year long.
It’s easy to hate on Instagram marketing, but when it brings you true gems like the trailer for Hearts Beat Loud, a movie Autostraddle describes as the “quirky, queer rom-com we all deserve,” you can’t help but thank the algorithm gods for their generous and all-too-appropriate gifts. Lacey points out, “Why are lesbian movies always a goddamn tragedy? I just want a happy ending.” Bless this movie for finally giving us just that: two queer young women of color (played by two queer young women of color!!) in a heartwarming, tender coming-of-age story. You can also largely thank Instagram for giving us Personals, a revolutionary queer dating platform—soon to be an app—that combines the creativity of old-school personal ads with social media’s accessibility and wide reach, as well as Fluide Beauty and NOTO Botanics, two cosmetic brands that cater to all gender expressions and explicitly seek to support the LGBTQ community, both with their publicity and financially through a portion of their profits.
In terms of visual artists, Zanele Muholi and Sophia Wallace have been around for some time now, but these two keep pushing boundaries and kicking ass in the art world. Like Lacey and I, you may be familiar with Muholi through Isibonelo/Evidence, her solo show at the Brooklyn Museum in 2015 that aimed to create visibility for black lesbian and transgender communities in her native South Africa. Muholi’s most recent project, Somnyama Ngonyama (Hail the Dark Lioness), seeks to investigate “what it means to be black, 365 days a year,” a subject that undoubtedly challenges the rest of the white dudes who unfortunately still dominate the field. Similarly, Wallace’s Cliteracy project, a deeply polarizing mixed media work which began back in 2012, has continued to push back against the patriarchy in the most explicit manner possible—by celebrating “the overdue, under-told story of the clitoris.”
On the musical front, we admit that you’ve likely already heard of multi-hyphenates Hayley Kiyoko and Janelle Monáe. After all, the latter has been all over the news lately, and Lacey jokes of the former, “I’m worried the queers will come for me if I don’t include Hayley on this list.” But we really can’t help gushing over these two ladies and their new albums (and the accompanying visuals), which are both equal parts subversive, hella sexy, and just plain queer as fuck.
Chani Nicholas’s horoscopes and Queer Appalachia’s Electric Dirt zine are two fascinating projects that take intersectionality to the next level. Lacey describes Nicholas’s work as “astrology with a social justice lens,” and Nicholas herself says: “I aim to make astrology practical, approachable, and useful. Otherwise it’s all just cosmic hot air and planets far from reach.” Likewise, Electric Dirt “seeks to celebrate queer voices from Appalachia and the South,” and their collective is comprised of folks from an incredibly diverse network, such as those identifying at the intersections of femme, dyke, nonbinary, faerie, Latinx, fag hillbilly, farm femme, and dirt witch. Lacey and I met as students on a college campus on the Cumberland Plateau, and we both know on a deeply personal level the difficulties, stereotypes, and contradictions that surround discussions about the region, particularly in light of the 2016 presidential election. Projects like the Electric Dirt zine give us both a glimmer of hope that the resistance is everywhere, even hidden deep within the forested mountains of the Appalachians.
And finally, an honorable mention goes to Ocean’s 8. Because in case you hadn’t heard, it’s pretty gay.