Tag Archives: Lesbian Musician

FBI Agent Susan SurfTone Becomes Lesbian Surf Rocker

Susan SurfTone first spent years fighting Soviet spies as part of the FBI. Then she became an openly lesbian surf-rocker with a hot new album.

She’s living the life we’ll all dreamed about.

A Lone Lesbian in the FBI

For a decade, everything Susan Yasinski did revolved around her dream of joining the FBI. She enrolled in law school to study Soviet politics. She worked at what became the US Department of Energy to learn the workings of the federal government. She became a bartender near the Combat Zone in Boston, where each night brought murders and robberies that just strengthened her desire.

When she finally made it into the FBI, they first set her up to solve bank robberies. After she had a bit more experience, the FBI sent her to track KGB secret agents from the Soviet Union. At only twenty-four years old, she was responsible for the nation’s security.

But her dream wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. The misogyny in the male-dominated FBI made her blood curdle; colleagues spoke over her and made inappropriate advances more times than she could count. On top of that, she could never come out of the closet, because she was told it would “compromise” her situation as an agent.

Susan realized this wasn’t her true dream. Her real dream lay in her childhood fantasies.

The Invention of Susan SurfTone

Since she was 9, Susan had been obsessed with music, idolizing bands like The Ramones and Blondie, and picked up as many instruments as she could. But age evaporated her dreams. As farfetched as being an FBI agent was, at least it was feasible, unlike being a career punk rocker.

At least, that’s what everyone told her. But if Susan could uncover secret Russian agents, she could make it as a surf rocker.

She found a female singer that she clicked with, and the two formed a band that performed all over New York City. People said that the band reminded them of Pulp Fiction meets Cyndi Lauper – a strange combination, but people liked it, and soon a label signed Susan and set her up on a tour all around Europe.

For the most part, Susan’s songs revolve around people loved and lost, but lately, politics have been creeping into her lyrics. With Russia and nuclear weapons in the news every day, it feels like she’s back in the 80s.

Learn more about Susan and what she had to overcome, and then check out her EP for yourself.

Check Out A New Album from Swedish Lesbian Rapper Silvana

Silvana Imam is a fiery lesbian Swedish rapper who rhymes about feminism, immigration and sexuality. Her motto? “I just write the truth of me.”

Rap helped her define her identity. Half-Lithuanian and half-Syrian, she often felt like an outsider as a child even though she looked white. Because her parents spoke only Lithuanian and Arabic at home, Silvana’s Swedish suffered.

She turned, surprisingly, to American rap music. Perhaps Silvana connected with it because these artists rapped about being colored outsiders on the fringe of mainstream society, just as Silvana was. Perhaps she connected with it because African-American rap was the furthest thing from her mostly-white Swedish community and Silvana needed an escape. Or perhaps she just liked the way it sounded. She started with Xzibit, the Fugees and Nas, and only later added Swedish rappers such as Petter.

The Fugees’ music taught her about the transformative power of socially conscious rap. Silvana finally had a framework for understanding and expressing the problems of the world, which influences her work to this day.

If you think it’s too late to start your own rap career, take heart – Silvana didn’t start rapping professionally until she was in her twenties. She had to fit in rap around her difficult psychology coursework in university. Despite the scheduling difficulties, she soon finished her first mixtape, Requiem. Her first album, IMAM, followed to widespread acclaim. Her second album, Naturkraft, debuted in 2016.

Her lyrics include incendiary lines such as, “Go kiss your f—ing Swaztikas,” and “We are the new Stonewall Revolution.”

In a recent VICE interview, she discussed her relationship with rap, what it’s like to win Sweden’s Artist of the Year 2016, and the widespread success of her latest album, Naturkraft.

She told VICE,

Everything I do is political. Society made me political – I’m a lesbian, a feminist, and an immigrant. We have a saying in Sweden: once you see political structures, you can’t un-see them.”

Sweden has responded well to her political music. She’s won several Swedish Grammies, including Lyricist of the Year, Best Live Act of the Year and Artist of the Year 2016. She was the first Swedish rapper to ever win Artist of the Year.

Listen to one of her most popular songs, Tänd Alla Ljus, which discusses capitalism and depression, below.

Then read more about Silvana and pick up your own copy of Naturkraft.

Jamaican Artist Diana King Plans All-Lesbian Record Label

Diana King – who shot to fame in the 90s with her reggae/hip-hop/pop hits – was one of Jamaican first musician to come out as gay.

Since then, she has spent years looking over her shoulder, living in fear, and facing the judgment of not only her own people, but her own family.

However, now she making changes, and with that has joined this year’s Raggamuffin line-up, in a move that seems to sum up her entire approach to music and life.

The Shy Guy singer replaced fellow Jamaican artist Beenie Man after he was dropped for his homophobic lyrics and comments for which he refused to apologise when given the chance.


At first, it was a success, but King’s been facing the backlash of it every day.

When the Jamaican community and diaspora of the Caribbean got wind of it, it was a social media bashing because I am the gay artist, how can I get the spot of this famous Jamaican artist who is known and respected and loved?. And it’s still going on. Whenever someone says Jamaica is homophobic, they defend it like they’re not but they show that they are every day with the words they say when something like this happens. It’s not about me as an artist, or what’s right. It becomes lesbo Diana King.”

She adds

But it’s fine. I feel fine about it – I’m just excited to be on the show and I feel very good to be representing as the first Jamaican out artist. It’s not all that I am but it’s a part of who I am and I am proud.”

Diana King 01

King came out three years ago, posting to Facebook:

I am… woman … mother … aunt … Jamaican … American … international artiste … singer … songwriter … band leader … friend … lover … entrepreneur … goddess … and yes … I am a lesbian.”

However, now she barely returns to Jamaica because “the judgment is always there, the violence can occur. You have to watch where you go, what you say, who you hang around”.

It’s for this reason, she was awarded the Vanguard Award for Bravery – an award she holds dear and plans to honour. She’s planning a comeback of epic proportions.

Not only is she heading on tour, she’s also working on a new EP and album which will release on her own record label, which breaks from her usual sound – “reggae-fusion”. This time she’s making a straight reggae album and an EDM (electronic dance music) EP.

Because I do the fusion I feel like I can do any genre that I choose to. Because of the type of artist I am that touches these genres throughout the years.”

And now that she’s out, she’s looking forward to being “totally authentic”, because that was the one aspect of her life in which she wasn’t, particularly when writing about her favourite topic: love.

More than that, King has bigger plans; her sights are set on re-launching her label as one specifically for lesbian artists.

It’s a scary, big dream, but I’m feeling it. I have friends, other artists who are gay and…there’s so much I can teach [them] and I just really felt close to them and wanting to be there and have a label that is fair and for them – a home.

So I’m going to make a go of it. Like they say, you don’t have to see the first staircase, just take the first step.”

Annie Clark Debuts Her New Custom Signature Ernie Ball Music Man Guitar (Video)

Annie Clark, who’s better known as St. Vincent has revealed her custom signature Ernie Ball Music Man guitar.


Envisioned and designed by Clark with support from the engineering team at Ernie Ball Music Man, the guitar was crafted to perfectly fit her form, technique and style.

I’m extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to design a guitar this personal with this company, this family, in whom I believe so completely.


The entirety of my experience as a guitarist is invested in this instrument. I sought to create a tool that would help and inspire those who share my priorities in a guitar, namely that it be comfortable and lightweight and that it exhibit clean lines, all without sacrificing tone flexibility.

It is with pride that I present the St. Vincent Signature Ernie Ball Music Man Guitar.”


It is now available in black or custom Vincent Blue, a colour hand-mixed by Clark.

First Xmas Article Alert (But Its Worth It) | This Christmas Video Will Get Your Lesbian Holiday Spirit Going

Yes, we know it’s a little early for Christmas music, but I think you’ll agree that this music video is certainly an exception to the rule.

Featuring real-life couple and recording artists, Danielle LoPresti and Alicia Champion (along with their cute four-year-old son Xander), this video gives us a fresh spin on the classic Christmas tune I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.

santa 03

Shared LoPresti:

As a multi-racial, same-sex, foster-adoptive family, Alicia and I are always seeking out examples in the media of other families like ours to share with our child. We looked online and per usual, didn’t find a single video of a family that resembled ours… so we thought that since we have access to the resources, we could have some fun helping to fill that void.”


The video is also a beacon for the LGBTQ community, a love letter to those who are also in “non-traditonal” structures which really have no representation in the familiar spotlights, especially for the holidays. Champion and her family feel that by creating the video, it gives others the opportunity to look at their own relationships and connect.

We wanted to normalize our family experience for the mainstream and show that queer families are no different than any others. As parents… we all miss our private intimate time. Our family life is quite similar, indeed…except that we don’t actually live in a 1950’s Technicolor dreamland, and that Alicia is nowhere near that fem on a regular basis. We do have a lot of fun everyday, and especially after we came so close to losing Danielle two years ago, we try really hard to practice constant gratitude for every moment; we laugh and play a lot.”

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus is the first single off LoPresti’s upcoming album, Winter’s Light.

For more information check out danielleandthemasses.com.

Heather Peace Postpones UK Tour to Spend More Time With Her New Daughter

Actress and musician Heather Peace has sadly announced that she will have to postpone part of her UK tour due to personal reasons.

Heather Peace and her wife Ellie welcomed their first daughter, Annie Mary Peace into the world in April.

Mary Lambert  – Erasing the Stigma of Mental Illness

We use music to give us comfort, to help heal our darkest pains —yet most musicians rarely will speak openly about their own struggles in plain terms and seek help. That is changing.

Mary Lambert is part of a new generation of musicians who refuse to be shamed into the closet and who are using their songs, stages, and interviews to tell the world that mental illness is neither shameful nor defining nor show-stopping. It’s simply part of the picture.

Through her songs like Secrets, Body Love, and She Keeps Me Warm, Lambert has offered comfort to listeners who are so often made to feel shame because of some ‘otherness’.

The idea of same love is not exclusive to gender equality —it speaks to the one in four American adults who suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder.


To honour her journey, this week at the Beverly Hills Hilton, the Seattle singer will be honoured by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services for her work and bravery in confronting the stigma of mental illness.


Heather Peace Welcomes Her First Daughter into the World

Heather Peace’s wife Ellie has given birth to their first daughter.

The out Waterloo Road and Lip Service star, who entered into a civil partnership with long-term girlfriend Ellie in 2013 and converted to a marriage last year, broke the news to her fans over Twitter.

The birth was greeted with congratulatory messages for the proud parents over Twitter from her fans, with many tweeting Peace their best wishes.

The news comes less than a month after Peace announced the pregnancy with her wife, Ellie.

X-Factor’s Lucy Spraggan Announces Engagement to Her Girlfriend

Former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan, has announced her engagement to her girlfriend Georgina Gordon.

Out singer proposed to girlfriend Georgina Gordon during a romantic boat trip down the Thames yesterday, and broke the news with a gorgeous snap on Instagram accompanied by the caption: “I guess I’ll confirm the rumours… Love you all.”


It was also the day her new single, titled Unsinkable, was released.

In 2012 Spraggan took part in the British version of the X Factor. She was one of the favourites to win the competition but had to leave the show after taking out a few weeks of the live shows because she fell ill.

Spraggan said she hoped X Factor would help her find someone

Out Aussie Singer-Songwriter Courtney Barnett Set To Appear On ‘The Ellen Show’

Out singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett is a breath of fresh air and we’ve been listening to this songs, on a loop, for months.

So its great to hear, the out Aussie singer-songwriter has been conscripted to perform on The Ellen DeGeneres Show early next week, the same day that (oh, no big deal) Michelle Obama will be in attendance, giving Barnett arguably one of her most high-profile audiences to date.

Barnett spent a solid number of years playing in other people’s bands before she decided to go it alone a couple of years ago. She recorded a debut EP with the help of friends, and has since created buzz all over the globe – most notably with her performance at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York, which is known for unearthing breakout bands and artists.


Barnett’s partner is Jen Cloher, a singer-songwriter, and they live together in Melbourne. They have worked together and the track Numbers is about their relationship and the age difference.

If you like fun, folky, throwback rock and roll music – something kinda retro and kinda fresh all at once – you’ll love Barnett’s sound.



Mary Lambert Remakes ‘Jessie’s Girl’ Especially For Queer Ladies

Out musician Mary Lambert is currently flying high. After being introduced to the world on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s gay rights anthem Same Love, Lambert went on to perform alongside them at the Grammy Award Show, and released her full-length debut album, Heart on My Sleeve, last October.


In an recent interview with Rolling Stone, the singer discussed her remaking of Rick Springfield’s 1981 hit, Jessie’s Girl

“Originally, I had put a piece about rape on the record, called ‘Epidemic. My project manager was like, ‘We support you 100 percent, but you should know Target and Starbucks won’t carry it, and it’ll have a warning on it,’ so I was like, damn, that’s true. 

I remember when I heard ‘Jessie’s Girl’ for the first time, I was like, ‘This is so applicable to lesbians!’ So in two days I came up with a different chord progression, rearranged it, played the piano and sang it. Everyone in the room was crying and I was like, ‘Cool, job well done.’ It seemed to be the perfect replacement for ‘Epidemic’ – equally as important for me.”

Mary Lambert

When asked how she feels about “pushing the envelope” as a gay artist, Lambert said she’s “curious about what the next step is.”

“With the knowledge that your favorite artist is gay, you know that the context of which they’re singing is going to be inherently gay.

And I think what’s beautiful about that is that it doesn’t deter anyone from listening. That’s what I think is really important about gay artists being in the spotlight. 

I understand the plight of an artist singing a song and not using gendered pronouns because it can alienate some of their audience, but I’ve found success with using a gendered pronoun – but that’s my story. I’m curious about what the next step is and how to be an asset.”

Mary Lambert


Queer Feminist Rapper Silvana Imam Is A Progressive Voice In Sweden’s Hip-Hop Scene

Originally born out of spoken word poetry where its performers would recite their words to a beat, it’s fitting that rap music is often used for far more than people rapping about how many houses they’ve got, how many bottles they ordered at the club or how many chains they have swinging around their neck. Very often it’s used to speak up and speak out about the oppression and hardships that people face.


Wise to this use of rap music, is queer feminist rapper, Silvana Imam, who is incredibly outspoken about the mistreatment of people in her home country of Sweden.

Take, for instance, her performance at a protest that called out a neo-Nazi group who had recently attacked an anti-racist demonstration. At the rally she performed her track Tystas Ner and with lyrics like “Nazis sitting in parliament” that were pointed barbs towards to the political party the Swedish Democrats, Imam says that she received…

“a lot of threats from people affiliated with SD.That shit scared me … I still receive hate on the Internet for being a feminist and anti-racist. I’m like, this is what you have to put up with for being a freedom fighter?”

Not that a few hundred hateful comments on Twitter are going to shut Imam up because as a lesbian, a feminist and as someone who regularly speaks out against racism, there’s lots on her mind that she needs to get out there. Take her EP När Du Ser Mig • Se Dig for example, where she calls out the gender binary (“gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original”), notes racial discrimination in the workplace (“15 million people in the world are called Mohammed but whose name do they want to see on the CV?”) and cries out for change like the unapologetic feminist that she so proudly is (“the patriarchy must be overthrown”).

More: ‘Sisterhood of Hip Hop’ is Back, And So Will Out Rapper Siya

Other lyrics like “take the cake and throw it back at him, Anna-Mae” where she calls out her fellow rappers (this lyric is in reference to footage of Ike Turner aggressively shoving cake into the face of Tina Turner, Anna Mae being her real name) may cause offense but Imam never treads lightly in her music and that’s part of her appeal.


On the social commentary of her lyrics, Imam also explains that:

“I’m a conscious rapper, I write songs about my life, and since I write through a lesbian-immigrant-woman’s perspective, it’s labeled as “political.” I’m letting people know how fucked up the world is through my art. This is about my life and my own survival in this patriarchal and anti-democratic world. A woman who writes love songs to other women causes immediate chaos in most peoples’ minds? That is something you should question. and not whether I’m political or not.”

We can’t argue that, as Imam’s words are more important than the question of her political leanings and we look forward to hearing more music from her when her second EP, Jag Dör För Dig, drops sometime this Spring.

Icon, Feminist, and Humanitarian, Lesley Gore Dies, Aged 68

Singer-songwriter Lesley Gore, died Monday, of lung cancer at New York University Langone Medical Center in Manhattan. She was 68.

The Brooklyn-born and New Jersey-raised, hit-maker singer / song-writer, topped the charts in 1963 at age 16 with her epic song of teenage angst, It’s My Party, and followed it up with the hits Judy’s Turn to Cry, and the epic anthem You Don’t Own Me. 

Part Time Pop Star

Her other hits include She’s A Fool, Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows, That’s the Way Boys Are and Maybe I Know.

Her partner of 33 years, Lois Sasson said

“She was a wonderful human being — caring, giving, a great feminist, great woman, great human being, great humanitarian.”

Lois Sasson

Gore was discovered by Quincy Jones as a teenager and signed to Mercury Records. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a degree in English/American literature.

She officially came out to the public when she hosted several episodes of the PBS series, In The Life, which dealt with gay and lesbian issues.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Gore turned You Don’t Own Me into an online video public service announcement demanding reproductive rights which starred Lena Dunham and Tavi Gevinson, among others.

In the last few years, she performed at Feinstein’s at the Loews Regency in New York and, along with Ronnie Spector and LaLa Brooks, headlined the She’s Got the Power concert outdoors at Lincoln Center in 2012.

In addition to Sasson, Gore is survived by her brother and mother, Ronny. Services will be held on Thursday at the Frank E. Campbell funeral home on Madison Avenue.

Awesome, Tegan and Sara To Perform At The Oscars

Its been announced that Tegan and Sara will be taking the stage at the Oscars. The duo has been added to the long list of performers, to sing hit song Everything Is Awesome, which is featured in The Lego Movie.

Although The Lego Movie may have been snubbed at the Oscars in the Best Animated Feature category, it did nab a Best Original Song nomination for the song, which was written by Shawn Patterson.

The awards show producers have now announced that the song will be performed live at the Academy Awards by The Lonely Island and Tegan & Sara, who performed the song for the end credits of the movie. The Lonely Island confirmed that they would be playing the song live via their Twitter.

The 87th annual Academy Awards will be held Sunday, February 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

Shia LaBeouf Stars in Sia’s New Music Video ‘Elastic Heart’ Alongside ‘Chandelier’ Dancer Maddie Ziegler

Cage fighting interpretive dancing between Shia LaBeouf and Maddie Ziegler – need we say more. Well, apart from the fact the lyrics and vocals are amazing as always from camera-shy singer Sia.

In her latest video, Sia enlisted Shia LaBeouf and ‘Dance Moms’ star Maddie Ziegler to perform in ‘Elastic Heart’. The singer directed this five-minute film with Daniel Askill, who also helmed her ‘Chandelier’ and ‘Breathe Me’ videos.

In the video, Shia is smeared with dirt and wears nude-coloured boxers, while standing opposite the 12-year-old reality star Maddie Ziegler in what would seem to be a giant birdcage. The duo then working through some interpretive dance routines until Maddie breaks free.

Maddie also starred in Sia’s clip for ‘Chandelier’, so ‘Elastic Heart’ is a sequel, of sorts.

Watch it below.

Mary Lambert Discusses ‘Same Love’, And Gay Rights

Singer-Songwriter Mary Lambert is known for collaborating with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on’Same Love’. She has gone on to release a solo EP “Welcome to the Age of My Body.”


In interview with ABC News she had the following to say ‘Same Love’…

“I knew that I wanted the chorus to speak to a universal truth.  There were a lot of thoughts I had when I was writing the song, and one of them was ‘How can I end homophobia?’”

Mary Lambert

‘Same Love’ quickly took off as an anthem for marriage equality and gay rights.

“If you depict a real relationship or the beauty of attraction or first love – that resonates with anybody.  But if you are constantly shoving down people’s throats, this idea that lesbians only roll around in lingerie, instead of like, you know lay around and watch Netflix and eat Cheez-Its together…  As soon as the exoticism goes away, then you’re stripped down with a real human element and that’s love and I wanted to create something that … fit that vision of first love.”

Mary Lambert

Mary Lambert’s musical style blends spoken word poetry with piano and traditional vocals. Through her music she’s explores dark subject matters, like abuse and suicide.

“Coming out of my late teens into my early 20s, there was a lot that still needed to be processed in terms of abuse and trauma.  And even when I’m in a really great, steady and stable place … I’m clinically bipolar, so that always exists — a darkness always exists.”

Mary Lambert

She feels that the new album covers a different range of emotions and topics than her previous songs and poems due to the whirlwind year of success that she’s had.

“My life is going at the speed of light, so it’s a lot of just trying … to be present in each moment … Giving each situation and each part of life that space and making sure that it’s sacred in every aspect. I’ve had an incredible year so the music will undoubtedly reflect that.”

Mary Lambert


Whitney Houston Biopic To Include Lesbian Storyline

One of the world’s best selling artists, there are few souls over the age of 20 who don’t know Whitney Houston’s name. Massively talented, you’ve probably danced around the room to ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)’ or had a little cry to ‘I Will Always Love You’ (which is also the best selling single by a woman in history).

That’s why it was devastating to so many fans when she passed away in 2012. The singer had faced a well documented battle with drugs during her career, something which contributed to her unfortunate passing.

But, as her drug use and chart-topping hits garnered plenty of headlines, another scandal laid in wait. Oft-rumoured was that Whitney Houston’s childhood friend, Robyn Crawford, was also her lesbian lover. And in ‘Whitney’, the upcoming Lifetime movie about her life, Crawford is set to feature.

Yolonda Ross, the actress who plays Robyn Crawford in the film told The Daily Beast that:

“It’s interesting how that, which was a thing that was actually written in the press at one time, was squashed and brushed away when all the other stuff happened in her life later. It’s an interesting part of her life. Whether they were together or not, they were people who were so important to each other.”

As the (alleged) story goes, Whitney and Robyn were incredibly close and in a TIME magazine interview in 1987 Whitney told the publication that Robyn is “sister [she] never had.” According to gossip mongers, the two did date and LGBT activist Peter Tatchell suggested that not only were they an item but that Whitney later married Bobby Brown in 1992 to quell the gay rumours that had run rampant in the late 80s.

Robyn Crawford

Throughout her life though, Whitney denied it, once saying that:

“People see Robyn with me, and they draw their own conclusions. Anyway, whose business is it if you’re gay or like dogs? What others do shouldn’t matter. Let people talk. It doesn’t bother me because I know I’m not gay. I don’t care.”

Meanwhile, following Whitney’s passing Robyn wrote in Esquire:

“And we went around the world. I was her assistant and then her executive assistant and then her creative director. I was her point person for the day-to-day. I traveled all around the world first-class and anyone who ever worked for her will tell you her checks never bounced. You knew she was going to take care of you. She wasn’t going to be in a five-star hotel while you were in a two. I flew the Concorde the way some people ride the bus. She shared the fruits, and she changed a lot of lives. The record company, the band members, her family, her friends, me — she fed everybody. Deep down inside that’s what made her tired.

…And that was Whitney. She could not pick up the phone, and that meant it was too painful. I have never spoken about her until now. And she knew I wouldn’t. She was a loyal friend, and she knew I was never going to be disloyal to her. I was never going to betray her. Now I can’t believe that I’m never going to hug her or hear her laughter again. I loved her laughter, and that’s what I miss most, that’s what I miss already.”

So with a firm denial, an unclear obituary and more than a handful of rumours to go on, the producers of the Whitney movie couldn’t exactly state for certain that Whitney and Robyn dated. There is more than a bit of subtext in the film as they make it clear that the two women could have been a romantic pair.

You’ll be able to see it for yourself when the film premieres on Lifetime on January 17th, 2015.




Chely Wright Launches Kickstarter to Fund New Album

Putting together a studio produced album is no easy feat. If you want the album to be of top notch quality – following the successive quality of your previous albums – instead of being recorded in a tin can then you’ll have to plan accordingly. If you want your songs to be less monotonous than just you on the track with a twangy guitar then that will have to be factored in too.

And, if you want more people to listen to it than your immediate family (including your parents who don’t even know what an MP3 is!) then you’ll have to fork out for marketing too. It’s not cheap either and out country singer Chely Wright recognises this which is why she’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring her next album to the masses.

The budget on her campaign is $175,000, which might seem pricey, but Wright explains that it’s necessary because she wants to “make a great album of great songs and to do that, we need to reach our goal”.

That relatively high figure will go towards “using the best musicians, the best engineers and recording in the best studios available” and although that $175,000 number was usually doubled by major labels (her last release on a major label was in 2010, but since coming out the same year Wright has since gone independent) some of the raised money will go to marketing too.

Fans will be able to take pride in the backer rewards, though. A digital download of the final album is available while for those interested in Wright’s coming out, her marriage to Lauren Blitzer in 2011 and the birth of their twin sons in 2013, then there’s a backer tier that also nabs you a copy of her documentary. Meanwhile, the most expensive tier is worth $10,000 and not only will that let you meet Wright in person, but she’ll even take you as her guest to the 2014 GLSEN Award in Los Angeles later this year.

Visit her Kickstarter for more information.

Watch Chely Wright – Jezebel

Mary Lambert’s ‘Heart On My Sleeve’ is Simply Beautiful

mary_14_AMary Lambert’s first full-length album ‘Heart On My Sleeve’ – is a month away from release.

Her debut single ‘Secrets’, was well received and got decent airplay.

In ‘Secrets’ Lambert opens-up and sings about her bipolar disorder, her highly dysfunctional family, and other ‘secrets’ which she chooses to reveal.


I like to say that I never intended to be a pop singer. I intended to be a healer. I hope to urge people to be empathetic and compassionate. People don’t relate to each other or see each other as equals, and this causes problems. I want to open up and be vulnerable, and to encourage others to be vulnerable.

Mary Lambert

Now she has released the title song from the album. ‘Heart On My Sleeve’ comes out on Oct. 14.

Mary Lambert – Heart On My Sleeve


Out Songwriter Haviland Stillwell Releases Her Latest Video for ‘Muse’

[tweet_dis]Haviland Stillwell has released her latest video for ‘Muse’ off of her album ‘Spark'[/tweet_dis]. The music video was directed by Elliot London and features Ashley Reed.

Stillwell is an out actress, singer, and producer, who feels living your truth in the open, with love and enthusiasm, is the way to true fulfillment.

“As an artist it’s important to be free and not to live in fear. I made a decision early on that I just had to be true to myself and be out. It just meant I’m not going to lie about this part of myself. I don’t want to be ashamed because it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

I’ve actually seen more of a positive benefit of being out than the other way around. We have the benefit now of so many people being out. It’s not like this weird subsection of society anymore. You turn on the TV and there’s Ellen (DeGeneres), there’s Neil Patrick Harris. We have to be role models, we all do. With social media now, you have to teach people by example.

Haviland Stillwell

Growing up in Georgia, she started her career debuting on Broadway in the original cast revival of ‘Fiddler on The Roof’, followed by Les Miserables. She relocated to Los Angeles in 2008, and has since been in films and television shows like Single Ladies, CSI:NY, and Eastwick.

She also created the wickedly funny web series Unicorn Plan-It, with Ashley Reed and Sarah Croce.

Yolonda Ross Plays Whitney Houston‘s Lesbian Assistant Robyn Crawford in New Movie

Yolonda Ross is set to play Whitney Houston‘s longtime good friend and assistant, who was also rumored to be her lesbian lover – Robyn Crawford in the Lifetime movie, “I Will Always Love You, The Whitney Houston Story”.

Not a stranger to playing gay, Yolonda made her feature film debut in the Award winning independent film “Stranger Inside” which was directed by Cheryl Dunye in 2001. She also stared in Slippery Slope.

The Whitney Houston biopic is being directed by Angela Bassett (her debut), starring Yaya DaCosta Alafia as Houston, and Arlen Escarpeta as Bobby Brown.

The film will chronicle the headline-making partnership between the iconic singer, actress, producer and model, and singer, songwriter Bobby Brown – from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity, to their courtship and tumultuous marriage.

Bassett is directing the film, which is tentatively titled “Whitney Houston,” from a script penned by Shem Bitterman (“Betty & Coretta” – the Lifetime Original Movie that Bassett starred in last year).

“I really just want to tell a story about a boy and a girl who fell in love. And these are the words and this is the place, and these are the people on the outside, you know? And I want to be as honest as I can about doing that.”

Angela Bassett

The film is scheduled to debut in 2015.

Robyn Crawford

Why we Love Mary Lambert – Watch her Perform a Flawless Live Version of ‘Born Sad’

Watch out lesbian musician Mary Lambert performs a live version of ‘Born Sad’.

A year ago, Mary Lambert was an aspiring singer-songwriter earning a wage as a bartender, now she melts our hearts with her music. This year she stole the show with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, sung at Grammy Awards as 33 couples got wed, and is now preparing the release her debut album, Heart on My Sleeve.

“As a lesbian in this industry, I’ve been instantly embraced. I came out when I was 17—coming out in middle or high school is one of the most difficult things that anyone could experience. I wouldn’t wish it on my enemies”

Mary Lambert

Lambert isn’t your typical major-label pop artist. Inspired by confessional folk singers as well as spoken-word performers, she is a brutally candid writer who deals directly in her art with such past traumas as being raised in a strict Pentecostal household, abusing drugs and alcohol before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, surviving a gang rape at 17, and being molested repeatedly by her father as a child.

“It’s important for me to be completely and totally open”

Mary Lambert

Mary Lambert’s Brilliant New Single – ‘Secrets’

Last year Mary Lambert signed to Capitol Records and according to a press release sent to media this week she’ll be releasing her full-length debut album entitled ‘Heart On My Sleeve’ on October 14th.

But for those of you who can’t wait for her album, Lambert has released ‘Secrets’ on her VEVO page. That lyric video shows Mary at her bedroom opening her personal diary and revealing all of her ‘secrets’ to us.

The first single ‘Secrets’ was co-written by Mary Lambert, Eric Rosse and Benny Cassette, and MoZella.

“We wrote this song in one super fun night. Eric came up with this simple and quirky piano line. Benny put an awesome beat on top of it. MoZella and I were instantly inspired melodically, and started throwing around melody lines and lyrics. Most of the vocals you hear were tracked that night. We couldn’t stop laughing…”

Mary Lambert

“Secrets” is an upbeat pop song whose lyrics talk about self-empowerment and challenging beauty standards.

“It’s easy to paint a pretty picture and tell everyone to love themselves, but it’s way more complicated than that. There is so much shame and guilt in our society, and I think it has deprived a lot of people from living fully. We’re all facing battles. We’ve all had someone who has hurt us. So let’s talk about it.”

Mary Lambert

‘This is Me’ – Play a Part in Melissa Etheridge New Album

Melissa Etheridge – Oscar and two-time Grammy winner – will release a new studio album, ‘This is Me’, on September 30th and will be the debut album for ME Records. Recorded in New York and Los Angeles, the album features 11 new songs all written or co-written by Melissa Etheridge.

“I am excited to be putting out an album that is exactly what I want it to be. I had some amazing collaborators who really helped craft songs and an album that is truly representative of where I am in my life at this moment.”

Melissa Etheridge

What is so fantastic about this new album, is that Etheridge is asking her fans to play a part of the album process, via the cover art.

The ‘This is ME Album Photo Submission App’ has been launched at melissaetheridge.com/thisisme/. Through it, fans can contribute their personal photos for possible inclusion in a mosaic that will be used for the album cover. Fans will have until June 27 to submit their images for consideration.

In lead up to this release, she has also released her first single – ‘Take My Number’.

La Roux Opens up About her Sexuality or Lack of it

Pop star La Roux has opened up about her sexuality, saying she does not identify with any of the LGBT labels…

‘I don’t feel like I belong to any of those. So I’m not going to put myself in that camp, or under that title. I don’t feel one thing or the other, I don’t feel man, I don’t feel woman – that’s where the androgyny comes from. I probably feel more feminine than I do masculine… but if people want to hold me up as a gay role model, absolutely, I’m proud to be that, but I don’t feel the need to say that I’m gay to do it.’ La Roux

La Roux’s, real name Elly Jackson, sexuality has been speculated about since the start of her career. The singer is famous for her androgynous style, and in a recent interview with the newspaper The Guardia, she said she is reluctant to talk about her private life in case the paparazzi harass her partners.

‘But the problem is, if I say, ‘‘I’m straight’’ nobody will come around to my house and take a picture of my boyfriend. If I say, ‘‘I’m gay’’ then somebody will come around and try to take a picture of my girlfriend. It’s all very well people telling me to be open about it, but it will impact on my life. Why should I have to bear the brunt of what would happen? All I know is that if it’s not something I have any interest or desire to talk about, then that needs to be my only reason.’ La Roux

Watch La Roux new single ‘Let Me Down Gently’


Spotlight | Beth Ditto’s punk wisdom

If our generation could only boast of one truly badass body positive punk babe, her name should be Beth Ditto.

Ditto, the curvy lead singer of the indie rock band Gossip, is known as much for her disorderly conduct as for her open support of gay rights. Read Ditto’s story below!


Gossip was formed in 1999 by three musicians from Arkansas, Beth Ditto being one of them. The band quickly gained a loyal fanbase. In 2007 Gossip signed a big contract with Sony’s LGBTQ music subsidiary Music With a Twist and quickly reached mainstream popularity both sides of the Atlantic.

Lately Gossip’s music has evolved from their early indie garage sound to more of a synth pop or even dance pop style. Most music critics have accepted the new style, but some early fans feel left out.

This, however, does nothing to diminish Beth Ditto’s unique charm. Read on.

Disorderly punk badass beauty

Ditto is not your traditional fashion model. She’s big and beautiful and punk. She claims not to wear deodorant or shave her armpits because that’s just how punks roll. Ditto happily shares dirty details like this in the hope that all women would realize they can define their own sense of beauty and be happy with their body as it is.

To underline her body positive message Ditto showed off her naked curves on the cover of the first issue of Love, an edgy British fashion magazine. She also used to run her own advice column in Guardian, dealing with body identity issues.

True to her rebellious image Ditto was detained in 2013 by Portland police for second degree disorderly conduct after blocking the street and throwing items, while cheerfully screaming ”Obama, Obama!”


Ditto’s dream wedding

In 2013 Ditto got married on Maui, Hawaii, to her former assistant and long-time girlfriend Kristin Ogata. Ditto wore a beautiful white dress by Jean Paul Gaultier and her fiancee had a white jacket. Both were decorated with white flowers. A classic dream wedding.

Both before and after the ceremony, Ditto has kept herself in the open. She does not shy away from the publicity. Through her music, through her writing and through her sheer presence Ditto is trying to give young girls a role model, an example – something she says she never had as a kid:

”Because I didn’t have any queer, lesbian, female role models I hated my own femininity and had to look deep within myself to create an identity that worked for me.”

Luckily, today so many gay women are out of the closet that every teenager can see with their own eyes the wide variety of female identities. This should make Beth Ditto happy.

Beth Ditto and The Gossip on LGBT Youth

Read more: Beth Ditto’s columns @Guardian

image source

Watch the Fantastic New Single from Heather Peace – ‘We Can Change’

Take a look at Heather Peace new single, ‘We Can Change’, which is the first single to be realised from Heather new album, ‘The Thin Line’ (available to pre-order now).

“It’s my big gay anthem. It’s for every kid that has ever messaged me on social media to say they’re being bullied. It’s basically saying, stop pointing out the differences and we can actually change the world for the better. The line ‘this is just a part of me, it’s not the whole of me’ is really just a dig at those editors who feel like they have to write ‘LESBIAN actress’ or ‘LESBIAN musician’ as the tag line to interviews I do. Just actress or musician is fine. I’ve been playing the piano longer than I’ve been kissing girls and my wife says I’m much better at the piano.”

Heather Peace

Heathers second studio album, ‘The Thin Line’ will be released on Monday, 9th June, and to accompany the launch, she will be tour UK on her biggest tour to date – stopping at, Oxford, Norwich, Newcastle, Manchester, Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham, London, Brighton and Bristol.

‘We Can Change’ is the first single from Heather new album, ‘The Thin Line’ available to pre-order now. Music video by Heather Peace performing ‘We Can Change’. (C) 2014 Kaleidoscope Records Ltd.

Source: www.heatherpeace.com

Kristen Henderson, Outspoken Bassist of Antigone Rising

The bassist of openly lesbian alt-rock band Antigone Rising talks to us about hanging out with the Rolling Stones and kissing her wife on the front cover of Time magazine.

Q: You have two new EPs coming out soon: Whiskey and Wine Volume 1 and Whiskey and Wine Volume 2. How would you describe them?

KH: They capture our typical Antigone Rising sound, which is a country rock sound. The thinking behind releasing two separate EPs came from my view that the music industry is in such a state of chaos. The industry just seems to be about releasing this constant stream of content and so much music nowadays seems to get lost because no one listens to it. Most fans are only interested in downloading a single or one track off an album.

We thought it would make sense to put out the CD in two parts over the course of the year so there’s a big splash in the early part of the year and another big splash later on. We’ve made videos for all the songs on the EPs in order to try to make an event out of each and every song. There are artistic reasons for our decision, but it also makes sense from a marketing standpoint because by December people might have forgotten about an album that came out eight months ago, so short are attention spans nowadays. So come October or November when part 2 comes out, it’ll be a brand new CD and will have a new relevance.

This time we wanted to take a different approach to putting out our music. At first we considered digitally releasing one song at a time every month and then at the end of the year putting out a CD containing all those songs. But because it’s been a couple of years since we made a CD, we decided that we needed a physical product to sell while on tour.


Q: Where will you be touring this year? Any plans to come to London?

KH: As of now it’s all in the States, but we’re definitely looking to go to Europe and Canada as well. We don’t have anything on the books for Europe yet, but we’d love to get over there.

Q: What was it like supporting the Rolling Stones? Did you get to meet them?

KH: It was awesome! The Stones are like this huge roaming city unto themselves, setting up new restaurants and shops and facilities in a new city every night. The production that goes into a Rolling Stones tour is mind-boggling.

The crowd’s reaction to us was also great. I remember some years ago seeing U2 in a big arena and the Kings of Leon – before they had broken through – were the support act. The audience wasn’t really paying attention to them. The lights were on and the stadium was relatively empty, well there were maybe 5 or 6000 people as opposed to the 20-30,000 that would later come see U2.

By contrast, when we opened for the Stones in Chicago, there were 30,000 people, the lights were on and it was a full-on show. I couldn’t believe it. I had told myself that in arena shows nobody comes to see the opener, but on this occasion the place was packed!

The Stones themselves are totally gracious and they made a point of meeting us. We spent a lot of time with both Ron Wood and Charlie Watts over the course of the tour. Keith Richards would hang out on the side of the stage while we played. Eventually we did get to meet Mick too, although he was a little less accessible. Given the show he puts on each night he has to lay low and rest. We had a really great time on that tour with the Stones.

Q: Do you prefer playing smaller or bigger venues?

KH: We’ve gotten to a point in our career where we know how to tailor our sound to whatever room we’re playing. I just love the response from an audience, wherever it is. Even if you’re playing a 200-seat venue – if it’s packed then the energy you can get off that is so intense. I can’t really compare or contrast one venue over the other, I just love playing live. When we have played in front of 20,000 people it feels intimate if people are into it, if they’re cheering and enjoying the music.

Antigone-Rising-08Q: Last year a photo of you kissing your wife appeared on the front cover of Time magazine. What sort of effect were you hoping that would have on public attitudes to same-sex marriage?

KH: The whole point of that was to come out, be vocal and hopefully change people’s hearts and minds. It was less controversial than we or Time expected. Time was gearing up for it to be this big scandal and had prepped us for attacks by the conservative media. But instead the most right-wing commentators – people like Bill O’Reilly and Geraldo Rivera – said that they didn’t know what the big deal was. So it was sort of a non-event. I guess that, on social issues, these conservatives are not so repressed any more.

Q: Do you think that represents progress? That people across the political spectrum are becoming more open to same-sex marriage?

KH: Absolutely. The landscape has changed pretty fast. In 2009 my wife Sarah and I wrote a book about our experience of being LGBT mothers and before we did press for that we were advised by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), an organisation that Sarah is now the chair of. They prepped us for a hostile reaction and they were right – a lot of the interviewers were opposed to same-sex marriage. They asked us questions like ‘What about the poor kids?’ and ‘Don’t they need a father?’ Then two years later my wife and I are kissing each other on the front of Time magazine and I was pleasantly surprised that the reaction was very different.

Q: 5% of the royalties from both volumes of Whiskey and Wine will be donated to GLAAD. Could you explain what GLAAD do?

KH: They primarily focus on the media’s representation of the LGBT community. In any instance where they feel like there’s been a misrepresentation they try and correct the error or educate people about the truth. I truly believe that the equality movement in the United States has largely been won because of the work GLAAD do and the way they have helped to change public perceptions of LGBTs.

A lot of Americans don’t realise that same-sex marriage is illegal in many parts of their own country or that LGBTs do not have equal rights to straight people in, for example, the workplace. They are not equal when it comes to health benefits or the right to adopt children. But people are at least now seeing positive images on TV of LGBTs on shows like Will and Grace and Modern Family. I feel like we are winning the war by using the media to change people’s minds. I’m not saying it’s won yet – there’s still a lot more to do.

Q: And the Time cover was a big step forward.

KH: Absolutely.

Q: Country music has traditionally been associated with conservative values. Is homophobia a problem in country music today and have you or your band ever been the victim of prejudice?

KH: Antigone Rising started out as a rock band and we’ve shifted slowly towards a Southern Rock sound and now, I guess, we have a country sound. I wouldn’t say that we’re part of the Nashville scene and in a sense, I think we’re flying in the face of Nashville, and I kinda like that. No one in the business has ever said anything negative to me, but I do sometimes wonder what the real reasons are for not getting booked in certain venues or not being asked out on certain tours. We certainly aren’t being embraced by country artists or country labels, but there are plenty of LGBT country fans who appreciate artists like us who they can identify with.

Q: Do you make a conscious effort to put political messages into your music?

KH: Not really, it’s never intentional. There may be moments in a song where we might allude to our lives – being out or not being out or making certain political choices, for example. For the most part, just by showing up and playing and being out and being who we are – this is a statement on behalf of women because we’re an all-female band and it’s a statement on behalf of LGBTs because we are all gay and out.

It can be a little divisive if you try to pound a message into people. I just like to play music. A producer once said to me, ‘Like the music, like the man.’ He told me that he never used to care for Bruce Springsteen’s music and then he worked with Springsteen, got to know him and found him to be so nice and generous that he learned to love his music. So I think by showing up and allowing people to get to know us, we win them over to who we are and what we believe. I think that’s more effective than making some bold statement. I’m not opposed to people doing that, of course, but it’s just not how we roll.

3/2/14 Antigone Rising

A Gay Version of “Let It Snow” from Frozen


Finally, a gay version of “Let It Snow” from Disney’s Frozen – “Let It Go”. The video comes from YouTube singing duo and couple Bria and Chrissy. The couple play with original music, and make videos that inspire.

“It’s about being proud to be gay. We want as many people and gay youth to see this as possible. So we are asking you to share this video and to ask your friends to share it as well. Please help us spread the love.”

Bria and Chrissy