In honor of Trans Awareness Week, GLAAD has released a new video featuring interviews with some of the biggest queer names working behind the scenes in music today.
Justin Tranter, who identifies as gender non-conforming, used to be the frontman for the group Semi Precious Weapons, but he has written some of the biggest pop hits in recent years for artists like DNCE, Selena Gomez, Kesha and Gwen Stefani.
“Music spoke to me when I was young, in such an intimate, empowering magical way,” Tranter says in the clip. “I think music is already doing that for young queer kids. It can do even more if we just put in a little more effort.”
Tranter also describes being young and hearing LGBT artists like Ani DiFranco for the first time, and what that meant to him.
Shane McAnally is an out songwriter based in Nashville who has worked with Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert and even won a Grammy for co-writing Kacey Musgraves’ debut album, Same Trailer, Different Park. He talks about how growing up he used music to escape from the outside world, and when he heard that Elton John was gay he realized that as a gay man he could have a future in the music industry.
In addition to songwriters, the queen of all queens, RuPaul, was also asked how his queerness has affected his music and his artistry.
“I mean, look at me! I’m a 75-year-old black man in a blonde wig,” Ru says from behind the Drag Race judges’ table.
“Growing up queer has allowed me to not put boundaries on art or colors or life or anything,” he adds.
Watch the touching video below, which also includes interviews with members of the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 7: RuVealed airs Thursdays at 8/7c on Logo.