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Mykki Blanco: “I really like this second for queer artists – the women actually flip round”

Luca Venter / HuffPost

With nearly a decade in the industry, Mykki Blanco has truly cemented itself a place as a trailblazer, innovator, and one of the most exciting queer artists in music.

Over the past few years, they have worked with everyone from Charli XCX and Shea Coulée to Pussy Riot and Dev Hynes – not to mention being picked by Madonna to star in one of their latest music videos.

Now Mykki is back with her first official release in five years, Broken Hearts & Beauty Sleep, which has already become her most acclaimed album to date and shows another side of her personality and musicality.

This Pride month we spoke to Mykki for our Over The Rainbow series about why now is such an exciting time for LGBTQ artists and why The Golden Girls will always have a special place in their hearts …

What’s your favorite Pride memory?

I think one of my favorite Pride memories is when I first moved to New York City. I was probably around 20 years old, and I’d never seen what it was like to be in real Pride the way New York City Pride does.

That feeling of “wait a minute, it’s okay to be blatantly sexual and sex positive and we can be free with our bodies, women are topless and it doesn’t come through that male cishetero gaze,” all of these elements for the first time , it really culminated in my thinking, “Oh, that’s what it’s like to be queer!”

The first time you take part in a Pride of this magnitude, it’s like “wow”. And as a queer body, most of the time we feel like a minority in everyday life. So when there’s Pride you think, “Oh, we meet hundreds of thousands at once, I wish it was like this … all the time, every day!”

Rich Fury via Getty ImagesMykki white

Who is your LGBTQ hero?

I love Big Freedia. Freedia is a gender neutral artist who rose to be a person with millions of followers – she has built a pop star career by doing the job and being persistent. And THut’s rock’n’roll.

That kind of “I’ll be me and I’ll tell my story authentically and make my music and bring it to people all over the world” is what a star is to me. And that is very precisely the path I hope to follow.

But there are so many [LGBTQ heroes]. I find Janet Mock remarkable. I think the work Laverne Cox did was quite remarkable. And bell hooks. That’s a couple of names.

Erika Goldring via Getty ImagesThe Queen Of Bounce herself, Big Freedia

What’s your favorite Pride anthem?

It’s so cheesy, but I think it’s raining men! There’s just something so cheesy about it that for me symbolizes pride when it shows up and everyone starts pretending it’s storming and people start popping bottles or spilling their drinks or you with their ice cream to splash.

And maybe that doesn’t go down too well on Pride, but one of my favorite Madonna songs is Music. I just love every time it happens at Pride.

What’s your favorite LGBTQ movie?

When it came out, I really got into Call Me By Your Name just because it was so nuanced. Also because I’ve lived in New York for so long, it spoke to me in a different way.

But when I was younger I really loved the movie The Outsiders, which is not a “queer movie” but about a gang of hot guys who have to take care of each other. And as a teenager I had noticed the homoeroticism of the gang, you know?

Oh! And I love The Talented Mr Ripley just because Jude Law is so damn hot in this movie! There’s a homoerotic theme too – but the good god Jude Law is hot in this movie.

Frenesy Film Co / Sony / Kobal / ShutterstockTimothée Chalamet in Call me by your name Your

What was an LGBTQ TV show or TV moment that you felt represented on?

Oh, I’m Dorothy and Blanche from The Golden Girls. Who knows me really will tell youI fit into this queer cliché, The Golden Girls is my consolation show, I’ve seen every single episode and I don’t care, I’ll watch every single one again. I love this show. This is definitely my queer television.

NBC via Getty ImagesThe golden girls

Who would be your ultimate queer icon?

I want to go with someone who is a little bit younger. Let’s name a few because I want to give props to some of these contemporary young queers. The girls are really turning it around right now and I just love this moment. I think it’s a really great time to be a queer person who does art.

I loved Sophie’s work, I think Arka is great, I love MNEK, I love that Lil Nas X is our brown-skinned queer pop star. I thought [Lil Nas X’s SNL performance] were true to who they are and people have to see that. And if people think that’s subversive … well, they haven’t lived enough.

NBC via Getty ImagesLil Nas X appears on Saturday Night Live

What is your message to LGBTQ young people this month of Pride?

Take care of each other. This pandemic, we had so much to mourn and we had to lose so much. So just … soften up, you know? I think the pandemic has softened a lot of people. But let’s take care of each other.

Mykki Blancos latest album Broken Hearts & Beauty Sleep is now available for download and streamed. Check out the music video for their song Free Ride below:

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