Since you grew up in a strict household, do you feel you’ve had to grapple with your spirituality versus identifying as queer? How do you balance those identities?
As a Black woman, it’s got to be in my genes at this point. In general, I feel like Black women tell you their stories, and it’s just like, “Girl, how?” But it was a struggle. I felt I had to learn how to love myself again, which is scary because I never hated myself. But I realized that, almost to the point of brainwashing, I was always told gay was bad. And I had to be like, “Look, you have to work through this.” Because even if I had a choice, I’m not even sorry that I love women. And it’s interesting because I see God in my life in so many ways, but maybe he’s just kind of like moody about this one thing about me, but I’m not going to let it dictate my whole life, dictate what makes me happy. So it took time even to say that, and it took some fails, but I think I’m at the point now where I love God, the earth, and the universe, but I also love me. And this town is big enough for both of us.
And for you, do you feel like music was one of the vehicles to get to that form of self-acceptance?
I feel like that all the time. I was pretty insecure and stuff growing up where I did. So I had to work through that, but the music was a cool catalyst to the journey of my self-actualization, and I feel like I’m in a good place now.
You’ve struggled with anxiety and depression. So how is your relationship with mental health evolved since entering the spotlight?
Once I stopped being like “these are all the things that are wrong about me” was when things changed for me. I was so self-aware but not doing anything about it. And more recently, I’ve started to commit to being like, “What’s the first step going to be to like not being this person anymore?” I’ve done so much, including therapy and meditation, but I feel like what has helped the most has been being kinder to myself and more patient and just being like, “Hey, you know how you treat this person? You need start doing that to yourself.” I’ve learned to give myself that same grace and patience because I can just be my worst critic, you know?