In lieu of their annual festival, LoveLoud, the LGBTQ advocacy organization founded by Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds, instead decided to bring the festival to their fans through a series of special interview videos, called LoveListens.
On Tuesday (July 14), LoveLoud brought together a group of LGBTQ women to discuss their experiences with being out and proud women in society, and their own respective journeys to self-realization. The panel featured guests including Tegan and Sara, K. Flay, Donna Missal and Vivek Shraya, along with two young women named Savanah and Natalie who spoke about their own experiences as well.
Throughout the conversation, the panelists each shared different struggles they find themselves facing as LGBTQ women; for example, Missal spoke about bisexual erasure and the damage that can cause. “There is this additional, inherent disbelief about bisexuality, in women especially,” she said. “As we have these conversations with each other, watching the world start to want to take part in these conversations and understand, ‘Why is it that all women feel this way?’ It brings value back to our voices.”
Sara Quin also pointed out the fact that the lack of representation of queer women. especially in traditional media like television and music, still causes problems for queer youth. “In a lot of cases, when we don’t have people to look up to, it can make figuring out our identities even more confusing,” she said.
The panelists also spoke about finding ways to work as activists in quarantine — K. Flay said that she’s been working hard at helping make change without promoting her actions on social media. “One of the things that’s been making me a better community member and ally is just doing things that are not visible to other people,” she explained. “It’s helped me to learn in these environments, rather than worrying about what I am putting out.”
After the conversation ended, fans were given a special treat when singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile appeared to deliver a special, acoustic performance of her song “Looking Out,” letting fans listening know that she was there for them. “When you feel like giving in and the coming of the end/ Like your heart could break in two, someone loves you,” she sang.
Check out the full episode of LoveListens below on LoveLoud’s Instagram.