Another way the singer has come into her own: being publicly open with her queer identity, and make it a point to write music that, as she’s said
, “isn't afraid to be super queer.” Listening to artists like Christine and the Queens, King Princess, Arca, and her “Friday (Remix)” collaborator Dorian Electra unapologetically pour their entire selves into their music inspired Black to “come back to [her] own voice.” And now she’s finally started to use it — and belt.
In early April, a red-haired Black donned a sunshine yellow gown
to the 32nd Annual GLAAD Awards, where she performed “Girlfriend.” It was a milestone that Black called an honor, especially given the great lengths it took to get there, physically and mentally. “As much as it's important to take criticism, and as much as it's important to work within teams and take everybody's thoughts into account, there is a reason you have a guiding force,” she says. “If you don't have that, you don't have anything. When you take out the peanut gallery, things become clear. Sometimes, unfortunately, the people in your life, as much as you might love them, might be the peanut gallery. That was really, really important to helping me write [queer] music, and to essentially make every choice that I make today.”