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5 Jul 2023

Celebrating Pride Month: Spotlighting LGBTQ+ Trailblazers in the Music Industry

Pride Month holds a significant place in our hearts, serving as a powerful reminder to recognise and appreciate the struggles, achievements, and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community. It is a time to embrace the spirit of love, acceptance, and unity, not only within the LGBTQ+ community but within our larger creative ecosystem as well.

Throughout this momentous month, Lakota is thrilled to present a series of exclusive interviews and thought-provoking insights from queer creatives within the music industry. These remarkable individuals have navigated their own unique journeys, breaking barriers and making their mark on the industry. These experiences, triumphs, and invaluable perspectives will inspire and uplift others, fostering a sense of belonging within our community.

The strides that the LGBTQ+ community has made toward wider cultural acceptance in both music and society should not be understated. While there is still work to be done, the music industry has witnessed a remarkable evolution in terms of LGBTQ+ representation and inclusivity. With each passing year, LGBTQ+ artists and the professionals behind the scenes keep breaking new ground, effecting change and inspiring a more diverse and accepting industry.

We caught up with some of our friends about what it means to be out in the industry today and the most pressing challenges facing LGBTQ+ professionals in music.

First up, we have DJ, DnB Allstars Presenter and all-round legend Tommy.

  • Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name’s Tommy, I’m from Brighton, I am a DJ under the alias TLB and I am a presenter for DnB Allstars.

  • Can you share your personal journey as an LGBTQ+ individual in the music industry, including any challenges you faced and milestones you achieved?

I identify as a gay-cis male. I wouldn’t really say there’s any challenges but there’s always thoughts that go through your head like posting on social media, playing out, how you look, how you think you perceive yourself. Everyone can be different but my challenge has just been how I perceive myself and it’s just the over-thoughts. 

  • How do you feel the music industry has evolved in terms of LGBTQ+ representation and inclusivity? Are there any specific changes you’ve noticed over the years?

We’ve got Nathan X doing Unorthodox, we’ve obviously got stuff that Mandidextrous is doing that’s absolutely insane and there’s so many other events that are coming up. Everyone’s starting to come together and become one. 

  • Can you discuss any events, initiatives or organisations within the music industry that are actively supporting and uplifting LGBTQ+ voices?

You’ve got the likes of Anais absolutely smashing it, Flava D who’s been doing it for years and years. In the house and tech scene, you’ve got Hannah Wants and the garage scene with Oppidan and Paige Eliza. It’s just so nice to see that everyone is coming together, people are doing their own thing, everyone’s accepting and celebrating.

  • What advice would you give to aspiring LGBTQ+ artists or creatives who are looking to enter the music industry? 

Get your ten thousand hours in, do your graft and at the end of the day it’s you doing you so just carry on with that. Don’t change for anyone else. If a challenge comes up, take it head on and just appreciate what you’re going through. 

Big love and thanks to Tommy for getting involved ❤️ you can check out some of his recent mixes here.

Join us in celebrating Pride this weekend as Little Gay Brother head to the city w/ Roi Perez and Nathan X returns with pioneering DnB collective Unorthodox, bringing you the ultimate LGBTQ+ party. Final tickets can be found here. A percentage of all profits will be going towards supporting the amazing work of Bristol Pride, a local charity that works tirelessly to promote equality and celebrate the LGBT+ community.