The They/Them Write the Songs panel at Thursday’s (Aug. 8) inaugural Billboard & The Hollywood Reporter’s Pride Summit gave an audience an inside look into LGBTQ songwriters’ experience in the music industry and the hurdles they’ve faced.
Victoria Monét, who gained exponential success following her contributions to Ariana Grande’s smash hit, “thank u, next,” came out to her family at Thanksgiving in November 2018. “‘thank u, next, just came out so I was like, ‘Fuck it!,'” she said during the panel of gaining the courage to reveal who she really is.
“I think my experience was reverse in the sense that I was hiding it for a long time and to come out felt more positive than negative.” However, she explained that she wants to break barriers for black women, who don’t always feel as comfortable to come out. “I feel like I’m representing fem energy as a bisexual black female. I want to see people on the spectrum do bigger things.
Though she felt like her coming out story was “a buttercup version because I was really lucky,” she wants to make the world a more welcoming place for LGBTQ people. “It should feel more warm for everybody. I think we should make people more comfortable.”
Country songwriter Shane McAnally agreed: “We have to feel safe and comfortable in speaking about how all of our experiences are.”