Next up in our Queer+ Voices series, we'll be featuring musician, songwriter and music instructor Veronica May who proudly identifies as a lesbian.
Tell us a little bit about your coming out experience(s). How has life changed for you since being “out”?
VM: Looking back, my first crush was kindergarten. I didn’t even question my sexuality until I was 21. I remained in the closet for over a year after until I was outed one too many times. I finally surrendered. It might be assumed that a small-town Catholic family would turn their backs away from me, but they never took their love away. I know it took some time for them to accept it, and sadly, immediate family members admittedly believe what I’m doing will send me to hell. But they always ask how my partner is doing and genuinely care about the response. It’s a hard truth, and yet I can still find the love to share.
LBP: How do other aspects of your identity intersect (or perhaps clash) with your sexuality?
VM: Being a more butch woman, I generally only notice a difference with how I’m treated by men. Once I cut my hair, it was like I was one of the guys. My male barbers through the years would make sexist jokes and I’d nervously laugh along. Like I wasn’t a woman. I also seemed to get more respect as a musician. I was in a duo with Lindsay White, a more feminine presenting woman. She noticed whenever we’d get to a gig, the sound person would always come to me for technical issues.
Image description: Square graphic with yellow background and large white quotation mark at the top. At bottom of square, large black text reads: "queer+ voices." In the middle, in black text, is a quote from Veronica's interview. (The second and third sentences of her response to question 4). Under the quote, in bold black text reads: "~Veronica May. Pronouns: She/Her/Hers"
LBP: Pride is a celebration of liberation but also an acknowledgement of struggle, resistance, and revolution. Where do you see yourself in that celebration? Where do you see yourself in that struggle?
VM: Lately I have found myself grieving for the community and on another level grieving for the injustices that go beyond sexuality and gender identity. Our communities of color. It took far too many black people dying in the name of racism for me to wake up.
LBP: As an artist, how does your “queerness" or sexual orientation show up in your creative work?
VM: Lots of love songs through the years. I think as a baby lesbian I would have liked hearing a woman sing a line like, “I love her” instead of “I love him.” Representation really does matter. Off the top of my head I can’t think of a popular song that does this even now.
LBP: What queer-centered artists, shows, films, podcasts, authors, etc. are you into right now?
VM: Lindsay White always and forever.
LBP: What are some of your favorite LGBTQ+ organizations or businesses you'd recommend our readers look into, buy from, donate to, volunteer for, etc.?
Lady Brain Presents would be at the top of my list.
LPB: Open mic - Is there anything else you'd like to mention in closing?
I’ll be releasing a music video later this year about white privileged titled, “Bad Wolves.” Other musicians in the collaboration were Miki Vale, Rebecca Jade, Becca Jay, Meghan Lowery, and Jason Mraz.
To find out more about Veronica May, visit http://veronicamay.com/. Stay tuned throughout the month of July for more Queer+ Voices interviews!
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