Do you know Lizzo? Do you know Billy Porter? I don’t mean to lump these two major life forces in one post, but dude, both of these peeps are the light! Whew! What joy! They are both exceptional singers and are way out of the bounds of what’s considered normal.
Lizzo, unapologetically full-figured, celebrates her self and her desirability all the time. She is a professional-level flutist and has discussed her crossroads of going either the classical orchestra route or the hip-hop/pop/composer/church-influenced singing route. A lot of her current hits incorporate flute music.
Billy Porter is a star of FX’s “Pose,” but really broke out when he was cast as a lead in Broadway’s “Kinky Boots.” A graduate of the prestigious Carnegie Mellon acting program, he’s a late bloomer (love that). At drama school, actors were told to be authentic and themselves and real, but he always felt that message did not include him, being told that he was too gay and too black. When he was cast a high-heeled, larger than life drag queen, he has said that it’s the first time where he felt liberated — it was the first part where he felt what was traditionally considered his weaknesses were an asset. Once he made that connection, his career boomed. I find that fascinating! In any case, I didn’t really click with who he was until I heard his joyous, impromtu performance of “Gypsy” songs during the commercial break during the Tonys, which I linked above. He’s also made a name for himself because he flirts with gender lines, often pairing a tuxedo blazer with a large gown.
Both of them, embracing what makes them different, asserting their authentic selves, really makes me feel relaxed. It’s not like i have an inner Phoenix-cross-dresser inside me, but I am inspired. If they can be themselves, I can too.