THINX chats with singer-songwriter Zolita about making music that tells stories for young queer people, dealing with homophobia, and how to be an ally to the LGBTIQ community.
What do you wish you had known when you were young about being gay? What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time?
I wish I knew that being gay was an option! I was never attracted to boys and thought that just meant I didn’t care about sex or relationships. I didn’t think I could be gay because I had never seen a femme gay woman represented in the mainstream media. So I suppressed any attractions I had to women. If I could go back in time I probably would tell my younger self to explore those attractions. I’m always a little sad that I didn’t know sooner. It would have been nice to have a high school love!
Have you ever experienced homophobia? How did you deal with it?
I’m privileged because I’m white and “straight passing” so the only time I really experience homophobia is if I’m with my girlfriend in public. I live in NYC though, so that doesn’t happen as often as it does to LGBTIQ folk in less-accepting areas. I think when people are homophobic it's important to realize that their hate is rooted in ignorance and fear. It’s their problem, and there’s nothing wrong with you.
The current administration is not necessarily committed to creating safe spaces for the LGBTIQ community. What can we do to be effective allies to our LGBTQI community?
Listen, listen, listen, and give LGBTIQ folk platforms - especially if you're in a more privileged position. It’s also super important to recognize and support more marginalized groups within the LGBTIQ community.
Your music has a strong political, feminist, and LGBT-positive message. Why did you decide to tackle these issues through your music?
Growing up I didn’t have any openly gay, proud, female pop musicians in the mainstream to look up to. Queer people live in a world of heterosexual design and constantly have to transpose the stories in straight music into stories that we can relate to. I make LGBT positive music because I want to tell stories that haven’t been told, and I want to give young queer people music that feels specifically made for them. Music is a universal language - so I think it’s an extremely potent, effective platform to fight for the politics you believe in.
Tell us about your upcoming single Fight Like A Girl!!
My next single “Fight Like a Girl” is a super bossy femme power song and is the title track of my second EP! Sonically it’s reminiscent of 90’s pop/r&b. I just finished shooting an insane music-video for it with the most incredible group of women. I know that “feminist” pop music has literally become its own sub-genre, but most of the time the artists releasing those songs are signed with major labels that are run by men reaping the benefits of marketplace feminism. Because I'm an independent artist and don’t have any high-powered men telling me what to do, I think that sets this song apart.