Boygenius & Making Space As A Queer Creator 

I was in my last year of bible college the first time I listened to Noah Gundersen. Five of my friends were crammed in my car, when the conversation (that I can’t remember) led Megan to play Jesus, Jesus. It completely shattered me. It was one of those songs I listened to at the perfect place and the perfect time. Five years later, I finally had the opportunity to see Noah live when he was touring in support of his record, White Noise. His sound had changed quite a bit since the days of Jesus, Jesus, but it didn’t matter.  

I begged my partner (who absolutely hates crowds) to go with me, and she reluctantly agreed. The show was at Mississippi Studios, a renovated cathedral in Portland, Oregon. We found a seat on the balcony and we were able to enjoy the show from a distance. Noah was amazing, but I wasn’t expecting the opening act to become my favorite artist of all time.

Phoebe Bridgers had just released her debut record, Stranger in the Alps. It only took one listen for me to become obsessed. A perfect album, the perfect place, the perfect time. I listened to it repeatedly for over a year. When I finally started to feel ready for a new Phoebe record, boygenius (Phoebe, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus) released their debut album as a band. 

I liked the album, but it was their choice of band name that stuck with me. 

Why boygenius?

“We were just talking about different men or boys in our lives who’d been told that they’re geniuses and how that’s actually a toxic way to refer to somebody,” Lucy explains. “But if you think you’re a genius, you probably have the confidence to try something that’s risky or be innovative and so that’s something we were trying to harness when we were recording.”

I think about that interview often. It has completely changed my approach to creating. 

Queer and non-binary folks are not given space, we have to *make* space. It is not freely given or facilitated for us. Part of our creative process involves convincing ourselves that what we’re making is *worthy* enough. Arguably, that’s the case for most creatives, but I imagine the feeling is amplified for LGBTQ+ folks. This is what I’m realizing: the things I make are already worthy because of my unique experience as a queer and non-binary person. I know that when I consume content re: creativity, productivity, or tech, I desperately wish there were more LGBTQ+ folks in those spaces. 

  • Our identities offer us a unique perspective + approach to creativity. 
  • The things we make have value.
  • Our creative lens is desperately needed. 

Query: Going forward, how can our creative process help us feel more in touch with our most authentic selves & our queer identity? 

Here is the interview with boygenius if you’re interested in reading.