Next up in our Queer Voices series, we'll be featuring singer-songwriter and music therapist Becca Jay, 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”?
BJ: I came out when I was 21-years-old. It went as well as you might expect for someone with a family who had been largely involved in the church. We didn’t talk much for the following few years, aside from phone calls that mainly ended in yelling/shaming/tears. However, since coming out my personal life has blossomed in a way that I never imagined could be possible for me. I have never felt especially like “myself” until these last couple of years, and that is 100% a result of me being out. Honestly, I just feel like I can fucking breathe.
LBP: How do other aspects of your identity intersect (or perhaps clash) with your sexuality?
BJ: I have a collection of memorable stories about being a young, queer woman working in music therapy with populations who profoundly disagree with my existence but required my services for growth or closure. It’s a strange intersection and consistently leaves me stranded in spaces that, even still, I never quite feel I’m allowed to take up.
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 Becca's interview. (The last two sentences of her response to question 1). Under the quote, in bold black text reads: "~Becca Jay. 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?
BJ: Pride has been liberating in the sense that it has given me permission to celebrate vital parts of myself that had previously felt shameful or wrong, but has also illustrated to me that even among my marginalized identities, I am in the majority, and we have a lot of work to do.
LBP: As an artist, how does your “queerness" or sexual orientation show up in your creative work?
BJ: Most of my processing of being queer has created songs that I’ve kept to myself. I think I’ve always felt isolated in my experience, which of course isn’t entirely true, but has stopped me from feeling like I should share that part of my journey. Maybe someday I’ll feel differently, but as of now, the queer part of my identity is mainly expressed in love songs with female pronouns. Even so, I think this mainly confuses listeners, as they often seem more likely to think that I misspoke than think I could be in love with a woman.
LBP: What queer-centered artists, shows, films, podcasts, authors, etc. are you into right now?
BJ: This is an area I lack in. I wish I had some good references - this is something I’m working on.
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.?
BJ: Uhhhhh Lady Brain. But for real.
To find out more about Becca Jay, visit https://www.beccajaymusic.com/. Stay tuned throughout the month of July for more Queer Voices interviews!
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