Jessie Paege and Lucy & La Mer Remind Everyone That Bisexuality Is 'Not a Phase' With New Video: Watch

Marilyn Nguyen
Jessie Paege and Lucy & La Mer

Being bisexual can come with its own set of issues. From the constant denigration of bisexual erasure to damaging assumptions made by those outside of the community, openly living as a bisexual person in today's world can be a difficult road to walk. So, for National Coming Out Day, openly bi singers Jessie Paege and Lucy LaForge (better known as Lucy & La Mer) are here to claim their space.

On Friday (Oct. 11), Paege & LaForge teamed up for their new single "Not a Phase," a true bisexual anthem about owning your truth and taking down the stereotypes that surround bisexuality. Whether it's in their lyrics, which casually switch between male and female pronouns, or in their new video (premiering below), which shows the stars openly flirting with people across the gender spectrum, the song laughs at the assumption that bisexuality is merely a "phase."

The two stars make the perfect duo to send this new message: in 2018, both Paege and LaForge came out as bisexual, where they say they were met with intense skepticism. "It felt so awful! We're here! We're queer! We count," LaForge tells Billboard, as Paege adds "If you're queer, you're queer."

The new single is also part of a new marketing campaign with Heard Well, where the two are debuting a new "Not a Phase" T-shirt as a part of the media company's new "Playlist Tee" campaign. The shirt will come with a Spotify code that, when scanned, will send fans directly to the duo's new single (you can pre-order your shirt here).

Billboard spoke with Paege and LaForge about teaming up for their new single, their personal struggles with bisexual erasure, and the importance of sharing the new track on National Coming Out Day.

Congrats on the single, it's a bop! How did you two get together on this one?

Jessie: So, I messaged Lucy because I feel like we kind of have very similar messages -- and I was like, "Hey, you know what, we should make a bi anthem!" I have no idea where it came from, I had never really been in a formal studio. Like, I was in jazz band in school, but like, I never recorded anything or did anything that formal. But it was like, "You know what, this is the year of going out of my comfort zone."

So we met up at this coffee shop, and the song came very easy -- we just wrote down how we felt. Literally within a week, Lucy hit up her friend, and we recorded it in two or three hours. It was... such an easy project for us, because it came so naturally and it was something we were so passionate about, and we filmed the video four days later!

Lucy: What were we thinking? It was so fast! It really did feel so easy, though. Like, I feel like when we were talking about the lyrics it was really just coming up with, "Ok, how do we feel as bisexuals? What are some problems we run into, especially with relationships?" I remember we were playing with ideas about it, and saying, "Do we want to talk about the negative, or should we just focus on the positive?" And that's why I love this song so much is because it's so empowering, and it makes you feel better.

Since you both publicly came out last year, and because this song is about literally denying that bisexuality is "a phase," what have your experiences been so far with bisexual erasure on a personal level?

Jessie: Oh, since coming out, I have experienced both ends of that constantly. So, I was recently in a relationship with a girl, and it was this common assumption that I was just gay or lesbian. On my platform, I tend to show a lot of pride, I speak about being a part of community and things like that. People think because I do that, then I am lesbian. But that's not how it works — if I'm in a relationship with a gender that's not my same sex, it doesn't mean that I'm any less bisexual. It also doesn't mean that I can't show pride. I posted about that recently, that there is this whole stigma that if you are "straight passing," you can't show pride. It's like, if you're queer, you're queer!

Lucy: Yeah, I really liked using some male pronouns in this song, while Jess uses female pronouns. That was something that was really important to us -- not saying that there's only male and female, obviously, but showing both sides of it and saying, "I am bi, and it's empowering for me to date someone who identifies as male or female." Something that I've experienced since coming out is that I was dating a lot of females in the last couple of years, and then I recently started dating a guy -- and there was this weird kind of backlash, and jokes about, "Oh, you're straight again." And it felt so awful! We're here! We're queer! We count!

Completely. But I also think it's so great to see this, because you're providing a space where bisexual people can feel represented through art, while there are often so few good examples of what bisexuality is. Do you guys have any bisexual role models that you've looked up to throughout your life?

Lucy: I've always been a fan for Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day, because not a lot of people associate him with being bi, because he kind of doesn't really make it a thing! He's said it a couple of times, and that's it. For me, as a kid, I was like, "That's how it should be! It shouldn't be such a big deal to tell someone you're bi!" So I always loved him. 

Jessie: I feel like a lot of artists have come out as bisexual recently! Or even just as queer, or pansexual, and that's been really cool to see. Like, for example, Miley Cyrus was obviously just in a relationship with a man, and she's been seen with a woman since then -- and [she's said] it doesn't make her any less queer that she was just in a relationship with a man! She's amazing, she takes no shit. 

I think it's also great that this song is out on National Coming Out Day! What do you hope any bisexual kids listening at home, be they in the closet or not, take away from the song and the video?

Lucy: I really hope that they feel like they have a space on National Coming Out Day. I know, before I came out, I really didn't enjoy that day -- I felt a lot of pressure, I felt really lonely. So I think anyone who struggles with saying they're bi, or acknowledging themselves as bi, knows that they have a space in the community, and that their love is valid. 

Jessie: Completely, and that they know that their coming out isn't any less important or special because of the label! Yeah, it turns into this whole idea that coming out as bi isn't that big of a deal, because you like more than one gender. It's like, no, it's just as valid, and you can make it as big or as small as you want.

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.