FRom the perspective of an LGBTQ+ artist
By Grace Davis with Alex McDaniel
Published June 25th, 2021
As many of you already know, June is LGBTQ+ Pride month and is when the impact of the LGBTQ+ community is celebrated. We have done much to celebrate pride month on our social media, but we wanted to also celebrate through our blog by sharing the perspective of one of our friends, Alex McDaniel. Alex is a music major at Oklahoma City University and is also a part of the LGBTQ+ community. We asked her some questions about music and her role in the LGBTQ+ community to share her experiences and perspective for those it could impact.
What does pride month mean to you?
Pride month is a beautiful time for people to celebrate their identities, but it is also a great time to educate yourself and others about the LGBTQ+ community, it’s history, and what it really means to have pride.
Has music ever intersected with your identity as part of the LGBTQ+ community?
Music has definitely had a large part in my identity. Finding artists that identify in a similar way I do really helped me to feel normal and not alone.
What would you tell someone who is currently on the journey to find themselves and explore their identity?
The best way to find yourself is to just keep looking. Keep an open mind and remember that you don’t have to fit into one box. Be as gracious and patient with yourself as you would be with anyone else.
What do you wish more people knew about the LGBTQ+ community?
I wish more people realized what it means to be a good ally. Being a good ally involves actively combatting anti-gay/anti-trans actions, having uncomfortable conversations, and constantly educating yourself and others. There are even people within the LGBTQ+ community that need to learn how to be better allies to each other.
How has music changed and impacted yourself as well as your future?
Music has always been there for me. Anytime life gets hard or stressful, I can turn to music. Whether I’m playing it or listening to it, it always makes me feel better. Music also helped me realize my passion for teaching, and that has definitely shaped my future.
What makes you feel the most supported as an artist?
I feel most supported as an artist when people interact with my social media. I also love interacting with other peoples’ social media and learning new things through that.
Who is your biggest role model and why?
Right now, my biggest role model is Sarah Neely. She was my band director in high school, and is now the orchestra director at Edmond Santa Fe High School. I constantly find myself wondering what she would do in various situations as I’ve started doing a little bit of teaching. I’ve always looked up to her as a musician and as an educator.
Thank you for reading and thank you to Alex McDaniel for sharing her unique perspective!