Gay Agenda is a weekly column for Billboard Pride where we run down a few fab things before the weekend. Between new tracks, music videos and pop culture moments, we want our readers to be prepared for boozy brunch conversation.
1. Gender fluid musician Lawrence Rothman has released “Stand By” ahead of their debut album, The Book of Law (due Oct. 13). Lawrence shared the heartbreaking story behind the track with Billboard: “Shedding my walls and coming to terms with my gender identity, I wrote the nucleus of the lyrics and lyric idea in an airport on my way to my childhood home to a explain to my father whom did not understand how I identified myself. I wanted to do this conversation in person. My flight was delayed I was on stand by. Because I have such a fear of flying, I got spooked and left the airport. The conversation never happened face to face. It was hashed out on the phone — resulting in a traumatic excommunication from him… and I haven’t been in the same room with my father ever since.”
2. The AAA Girls stopped by Billboard to talk about their North American tour, and to play a game of Never Have I Ever. Check out the clip below, where the queens talk about dating fans and Courtney Act admits to confusing Katy Perry for a twink in drag. Oops!
3. Rising star FLETCHER premiered “You Should Talk” with Billboard yesterday. The song’s subject matter is all too relatable: “It’s a situation where I got absolutely no closure and was just fully ghosted,” the singer said.
4. What’s a girl to do in the off-season of Drag Race? Well hopefully you’re patronizing gay bars and supporting local queens. But Fusion’s new show Shade: Queens of NYC, premiering next Thursday (Oct. 5), is bringing drag to the silver screen. The 12-episode series shows the grittier side of drag and follows around some of the biggest names in NYC nightlife: Brita Filter, Chelsea Piers, Holly Box-Springs, Jada Valenciaga, Jasmine Rice LaBeija, Marti Gould Cummings, Paige Turner and Tina Burner are among the talent featured. Check out the show’s just-released opening sequence, featuring the fierce queens and their studly out-of-drag personas as well.
5. Grizzly Bear released a video for their song “Losing All Sense,” starring a soaking wet Busy Philipps at an uncomfortable dinner party. The track is off Ed Droste and Co.’s latest album, Painted Ruin.
6. On Wednesday, Billboard debuted the first edition of Heart to Heart. Each month, we will enlist a LGBTQ influencer and pair them with a musician of their choosing to talk about queer topics. Don’t miss David Olshanetsky (the genius behind The Shitney Spears) and “Paper Love” singer Allie X’s conversation about how pop concerts double as a safe space for LGBTQ youth to meet.
7. J Balvin and Willy William’s “Mi Gente” club-ready collab was already a bop (it sits pretty at No. 19 on the Hot 100), but Queen B took the track to a new level. Not only did Beyoncé hop on a new version of the track, but she announced that her proceeds from the song will be donated to hurricane relief charities for Puerto Rico, Mexico and the other affected Caribbean islands. Slay.
8. Queer lady duo Rituals of Mine dropped a clip for “Armor.” The song and video features feminist activist Madame Gandhi on percussion. The band’s frontwoman Terra Lopez talked to Billboard earlier this week about Bitchwave, a new queer-friendly label that she co-founded.
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