“Coming out as queer can be awkward”
BY SAMANTHA GRIERSON
Megan Black joined me for an interview, a vibrant flash of colour and energy bursting into my kitchen… So, Megan, a Hippy Dippy Drag Queen…? I’m intrigued with what this means. “Drag has always been something I could go to when gender gets too complicated. I like to think of the masculine part of myself dressed as a woman. Men can do what they want, as performers, they are not sexualised and pigeonholed in the same ways. I want to express my femininity from a masculine point of view, without the baggage”. I query the word “Drag King”, Megan doesn’t see it as that binary. “To me gender is a kaleidoscope, shifting. I see myself through the prism of drag, it’s a way I express myself through clothes and makeup. I draw on a moustache, I’m emphasising parts of myself without having to speak about them. It’s just who I am”.
Megan is releasing a new single 27 August, called San Francisco, I ask the Edinburgh based singer/songwriter what inspired her. “I worked in a call centre, and I looked around one day and thought, ‘This is all bull’, and began to romanticise leaving it all far behind and joining the hippy summer of love in San Francisco. It comes from a place of angst and anger, I would say. Why do I have to run away from parts of myself to feel free and alive? It shouldn’t have to be like that.”
Megan and I first met on Kitty, my LGBTQI+ audio play starring Miriam Margolyes. Megan provided the amazing theme tune, Fur Coat Queen. I remember the first time I heard it when I was trawling the internet looking for a track… it blew me away – such an evocative image… I ask Megan, about the Fur Coat Queen. She laughs and tells me, “I used to work with a woman I had a huge crush on and, yes, she wore a fur coat. But really it was my coming out song to friends and family and then the wider world. I think it’s important that we acknowledge other women around us and the source of inspiration that they are and what they have to teach us. Coming out as queer can be awkward. It’s not like you are in one box or another. People think I have to justify it. I’ve even had backlash from within the LGBTQI+ community. Queer people don’t necessarily have a defined space, it’s very confusing. Life is hard enough without going against your own grain. With my music, I’m trying to create a space for everyone to be themselves.”
I ask Megan, what is next? What plans do you have now? “I’m releasing an album later in the year, which I am crowd funding. I like to produce physical vinyl and also CDs, makes it more real. But to be honest, the biggest kick that I’ve had recently was hearing from a woman who contacted me to say that she was hanging out at the back of a gig, having a sneaky vape when she overheard three people singing Freedom Belongs To Him. Now that’s a buzz, people liking my song and spontaneously singing it. Does it get better than that? I just feel like, my work at the moment is attracting likeminded people, the people I want to hang with and be creative with. I’m just following the energy and the vibe.
For more info on Megan’s new album look here: indiegogo.com/projects/megan-black-s-debut-album#
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