Can you share your journey as a creative and how your queer identity may have influenced your work (if at all)?
I’ve been creative since I was little, and music and art has always been at my core, so working at AEI since 2020 has been a really natural progression. Then I’ve just kept pushing myself: I’ve worked on sold out shows and festivals, I’ve designed multiple release artworks and merchandise campaigns, and over the last year I’ve returned to DJing. As for my queerness, all creativity is a form of self-expression - even when it’s working to a brief there’s part of yourself going into it, and I think that’s a way to process my identity.
Are there any particular events, organisations, individuals or initiatives within the LGBTQ+ community that you find particularly impactful or supportive of queer creatives?
I love London’s queer nightlife scene - Dalston Superstore and The Glory are doing some great things, and festivals like Body Movements and Mighty Hoopla are promoting a variety of queer talent. I’m inspired by countless musicians like HAAi, Lynks and Tom Rasmussen. In terms of organisations, the West London Queer Project is doing great things where I currently live. And through the Halley, myself and a small team have just launched TGTHR - a new music industry network for LGBTQ+ people - so watch this space!
How do you feel about the representation of LGBTQ+ individuals in the creative industry? are there any improvements you would like to see?
I think we need to work on our visibility, and breaking out of the “spaces” that have been defined for us. For example, house and techno has a rich LGBTQ+ heritage and community - drum and bass, not so much. And for designers, we need to be aware of how we as queer creatives are involved in corporations around Pride. Rainbow logos and t-shirt slogans aren’t enough, and those of us in positions of creative power can’t let companies get away with doing the minimum.
What advice would you give to other LGBTQ+ individuals who aspire to pursue a career in the creative industry?
Your queerness is a superpower! It can give you such a unique perspective, picking up on narratives and interpretations that others simply wouldn’t see. Use these talents to support those you align with, and find others on the same journey as you, we’re all here to help each other out.
How can creative spaces like ours better support and uplift LGBTQ+ voices and talents?
I think it’s largely a case of providing space and resource and agency for LGBTQ+ individuals to figure out what they need, which is what we’re trying to do with TGTHR. And it’s important to be aware that some of the community has far greater needs right now - trans and non-binary voices really must be projected far and wide. No-one needs a room full of us cis white gay men anymore.
How can people find you/engage with your work?