Rebecca Black on Love, Queer Acceptance and Coming Out
Get to know our BRICKS Voices June cover star singer-songwriter Rebecca Black.
IMAGES Courtesy of Rebecca Black
For those who may not know, can you tell us about who you are and what you do?
I’m Rebecca Black, I’m a singer and songwriter. I also have a YouTube channel where I post content on regularly having to do with my life, beauty, and honest conversations with my audience. My channel features an interview series called ‘Blacking Out with Rebecca Black‘ where I bring on a guest each episode to share stories about their lives in a more personal and intimate way.
You recently came out as queer, how was this experience for you?
I feel really grateful to be able to come out in a space that is more accepting than it’s ever been. But I do know, there are still massive amounts of queer people who do not get to have the same, embracive experience as I did. I feel lucky to have the people around me that I do, including my audience, they have been so supportive.
What advice would you give to those currently thinking of also coming out to friends and family?
There may never be a “right” moment to come out, and that’s okay. I learned that first hand with the process of trying to wait for one myself. There is so much to say on such a personal topic like this that’s SO incredibly different to everyone. One of the most important things, I think, is to remember you never OWE anyone your coming out. It is your story and yours to tell.
What is the meaning of love in 2020?
Omg — big question, no? I think in 2020 love is community, and love is care — for ourselves, our environment, and for those around us. Of course, there is so, so much more to be said on this, and still so much for all of us to learn.
How can we foster a sense of community while in isolation?
I have never felt closer to the internet as a community than I do right now. I think using what we have — literally at our fingertips — to connect us with one another is the first step. But even more than checking in on friends, I think we can all challenge ourselves to take it a step further and BE there for someone we love. Everyone is handling this so differently, but with enough care, we can guide each other through. There’s no way to shortcut genuine connection.
What does the word queer mean to you?
I love the word queer because I think it encompasses our community beautifully, and justly. To embrace your queerness, you are not just accepting who you are, you are also celebrating it. The word also creates a wide umbrella for so many to fall into for comfort when they need it. Even for me and my experience coming into my own sexuality, owning my queerness first and foremost helped make everything much more comfortable as I started to settle into my own unique identity.
What is your earliest memory of the queer community and how did it make you feel?
There’s an undeniable ever-evolving attitude to the queer community. In its essence, it is unafraid of change and that left me in awe as a kid when I first became aware of it. It felt so magical to see a community always welcoming the new and letting itself expand. I got myself in the deepest internet holes especially when I was homeschool in my first part of high school — I really think it was things like Tumblr that first introduced me to the queer community.
I feel really grateful to be able to come out in a space that is more accepting than it’s ever been. But I do know, there are still massive amounts of queer people who do not get to have the same, embracive experience as I did.
What parts of the queer community do you feel need more representation?
I think the most vulnerable and inter-sectionalized parts of this community would still benefit greatly from any form of representation. It is terrifying to still see how easily they are erased from the majority of mainstream media. Overall, there is a lot to be done. But right now we must help, protect, and create more awareness for those who are most vulnerable in the ways that we are able.
Although the mainstreaming of queer culture has resulted in so many positives, it has also paved the way for niche representation of queer identities. What are your thoughts on the mainstreaming of queer culture?
Queer culture has existed and paved ways in the mainstream for so long, it just hasn’t been given the credit for what it does. I, of course, encourage it being more in mainstream media in terms of representation, and that so all kinds of people get familiar with the community and the complexity of the people within. As long as we are speaking for ourselves and not being spoken for, it is a greatly positive thing.
Are you optimistic about the future for queer people?
I am. I think always maintaining a sense of hope and optimism is crucial when it comes to what pushes us forward through the hardest times – otherwise why would be push through at all? There is so much work to be done, but it is constantly improving.
Keep up to date with Rebecca Black on Instagram and listen to her latest tracks below.
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