Interviews, information, and updates all in one place.
|Posted by Beck on July 24, 2017 at 11:50 AM||comments (0)|
When we released The Con exactly 10 years ago today – July 24, 2007 – we had been on earth for 9,390 days. Another 3,650 days have passed since then and if we’re lucky we could live another 12,510 days. In a way, we’re at the hallway point of our lives; “halfway to death” as our Dad ominously told us on his 35th birthday. This was also the kind of existential number-crunching we were doing during our 26th year on earth in 2007, and The Con was born from that experiential panic.
To commemorate the impact The Con had on our career and songwriting, today we are very excited to announce The Con X: Covers, a new album featuring 14 of our favorite artists covering all 14 songs from the original album. When I hear another band or artist cover one of our songs it can be indescribable and pleasantly disorienting – creating hope where there was originally hopelessness or joy where there was only ever regret. A pop song can become a claustrophobic ballad, or an anguished confession might be transformed into a euphoric mantra. In some ways hearing someone else interpret something so familiar is a way to finally be freed from the personal history of the song and to hear it for the first time.
The Con X: Covers will be released on October 13, 2017, and we are especially excited to announce that our record label, Warner Bros., will be donating net album proceeds to The Tegan and Sara Foundation, working in support of LGBTQ girls and women. Our next announcement will include the full list of artists (be patient!), and for now we want to thank each and every one of them for donating their time and talents to this cause that we are so passionate about.
xo Sara (and Tegan)
|Posted by Beck on July 19, 2017 at 10:55 PM||comments (0)|
'There truly is no weakness is admitting you need a hand through the darkness'
Tegan Quin of Tegan And Sara has called for more to be done to normalise issues surrounding mental health for young people.
The Canadian duo appear in the new zine ‘Do What You Want’ – a zine all about mental health by chef, writer and model Ruby Tandoh and her partner, the musician Leah Pritchard. To help spread the word and as part of our ‘Let’s Talk‘ campaign, Tegan Quin spoke out to NME about the pitfalls of being a young person in 2017, and the brave steps to seek help if you’re suffering.
What do you think needs to be done to break the stigma around discussing mental health among young people?
“I think we just need to hit home a message that it’s normal to struggle, to feel down, to question who you are, where you fit and to need support. Being a young person can be very overwhelming. The window for kids to be kids is getting smaller and smaller. The pressure on young people is getting more extreme.
“I think we need to continue to invest in resources for young people to support them through their toughest years. We need to continue as public people to talk about how we struggle too to help remove some of the stigma. We need to build images of strength to represent the act of asking for help. It takes someone quite brave and strong to say, ‘I need help’. I think discussion should also start younger. It’s not just teenagers that feel overwhelmed or exhausted mentally. I think it’s starting younger so we need to start building mental health and self care into young kids lives. Talk about it at home. Checking in and self care are important things to learn about and I think it starts at home.”
What are the unique pressures that you think young people face when it comes to mental health in 2017?
“The internet. The internet. The internet. I think having smart phones with online access 24/7 is messing everyone up, not just young people. There is so much available to us now that I think young people especially are just unable to develop their own sense of self and identity. The constant comparisons to other people on your Instagram feed, or how many fiends you have compared to other people on Facebook or other social media. It’s very competitive, it’s constant, and I think it eats away at young people. They are addicted to their phones and computers and to connecting.”
“There isn’t that relief from social pressures that we had when we were young. We could go home and turn off the noise. The noise just gets louder now for young people. I think they need to let themselves turn off. They need to get away from their screens, away from their constant contact and updates on their social media feeds. Connect with family, the outdoors, do something active, relax, read, just have a minute away from it all. Without any of that relief I think it’s driving kids mad.”
What advice would you give to a young person struggling to come to terms with their issues and seek help?
“There is no shame in feeling down. It’s also hard sometimes to know if you’re down or depressed. It’s okay to admit that you’re not sure. That you don’t feel like yourself. I think finding someone to talk to is super important and more people ask for help than people think. Being young can be super overwhelming. There is a lot happening internally and externally. I’d encourage people to remember these things and seek help. We all go through tough times, there truly is no weakness is admitting you need a hand through the darkness.”
|Posted by Beck on July 19, 2017 at 10:05 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Beck on July 13, 2017 at 6:55 PM||comments (0)|
In 2007 we released The Con, forever changing the course of our career and connecting us to so many of you for the first time. To honour the album’s 10th anniversary, we will be celebrating with two very special projects this year.
Today we are excited to announce the first project – The Con X: Tour.
This fall we will travel across North America performing special acoustic arrangements of all 14 songs from The Con in order, followed by other T&S classics. Tickets go on sale this Friday at http://teganandsara.com/shows/, and a portion of proceeds from this special tour will benefit the Tegan and Sara Foundation.
As we look back today, the first few records of our career felt like we were navigating winding mountain roads. But with The Con it was obvious we had turned a corner and hit an open stretch of highway – it was our first fully-realized Tegan and Sara record. The album was written about love, death, fear and anxiety, and 10 years later we continue to be amazed by how much it touched people. Much of it hasn’t been performed live in nearly a decade so it’s with great pleasure that we take these beloved songs back to the stage.
San Diego, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Minneapolis, Detroit, Brooklyn, Boston, Upper Darby, Atlanta and Austin… we’ll see you all soon! There will also be more dates announced, and please visit teganandsara.com/shows and teganandsarafoundation.org for all details.
xo Tegan and Sara
FRI 20 OCTOBER - San Diego, CA, US
SAT 21 OCTOBER - Las Vegas, NV, US
MON 23 OCTOBER - Los Angeles, CA, US
TUE 24 OCTOBER - Los Angeles, CA, US
WED 25 OCTOBER - San Francisco, CA, US
THU 26 OCTOBER - Portland, OR, US
FRI 27 OCTOBER - Seattle, WA, US
SAT 28 OCTOBER - Vancouver, BC, Canada
MON 30 OCTOBER - Calgary, AB, Canada
TUE 31 OCTOBER - Edmonton, AB, Canada
FRI 3 NOVEMBER - Minneapolis, MN, US
SUN 5 NOVEMBER - Detroit, MI, US
WED 8 NOVEMBER - Brooklyn, NY, US
THU 9 NOVEMBER - Boston, MA, US
FRI 10 NOVEMBER - Upper Darby, PA, US
SAT 11 NOVEMBER - Washington, DC, US
MON 13 NOVEMBER - Atlanta, GA, US
WED 15 NOVEMBER - Austin, TX, US
THU 16 NOVEMBER - Austin, TX, US
|Posted by Beck on July 9, 2017 at 6:40 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Beck on July 6, 2017 at 11:05 PM||comments (0)|
BY ILANA KAPLAN JULY 6, 2017 10:00 AM
Before there was Gaga or Taylor, before pussy hats or Beyoncé's "girls in formation," there was an epic all-female music festival created by women fed up with sexism in the music industry: Lilith Fair. This summer, in honor of the festival's twentieth anniversary, we're exploring the history and legacy of the festival, and why the fight for equality in the industry continues today. Read the oral history of Lilith—as told by the women who lived it—and more here.
At 19 years old, in 1999, Canadian duo Tegan and Sara got what seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime: performing at Lilith Fair. “Being asked to play was like, We’ve made it,” Tegan Quin tells us. The indie-pop sisters were just beginning their careers, and the prospect of playing a music festival alongside acts like Sarah McLachlan and Sheryl Crow was incredible. “A lot of these huge touring rock festivals just had no women, or hardly any women, and you look at this lineup of Tracy Chapman, Shawn Colvin, Paula Cole, Sarah McLachlan, Indigo Girls, and Dixie Chicks combining to have a festival, and that seems ideal to me,” Tegan explains. Since then, Tegan and Sara have released eight studio albums, played countless festivals — including Lilith's revival in 2010 — and become advocates for LGBTQ and women’s rights.
And while they credit the festival for making strides for female musicians, they also acknowledge its shortcomings. "In a perfect world, all festivals would represent across-the-board diversity: women, people of color, and LGBTQ people,” Tegan notes. “There's a part of me that doesn’t want to have to be isolated in subgroups based on my sexuality or my gender," Sara adds. "But then on the other hand, I think maybe there's space for all of those things."
So with the tenth anniversary of Tegan and Sara's seminal album The Con and the twentieth anniversary of Lilith Fair approaching, we caught up with the two to talk about intersectionality, the “testosterone-fueled cock-fest” of the aughts, and whether Lilith Fair’s brand of feminism remains today.
GLAMOUR: What do you remember about your first show at Lilith Fair '98?
Tegan: It was very close to when we graduated high school, so it was a very strange sensation. Being asked to play Lilith Fair was like, We've made it. It did not register or matter we were playing a village stage that actually had nothing to do with Lilith Fair. It wasn't like Sarah McLachlan chose us — it likely would have been the local promoter booking that stage — but it didn't matter. We were so excited anyway. Even then, we were aware of how powerful it was to have so many women on the same bill.
GLAMOUR: What did you know about Lilith Fair from the get-go? What kind of impressions did you have when they first approached you?
Sara: We were in high school [when Lilith Fair started], and I remember hearing about it and thinking it was great and a really cool idea — but we were also in a totally different genre of music because we were in a punk band. I remember thinking it was something my mom and her friends were really excited about. And just to give context: When I was in high school, my mom was the same age basically I am now — her late thirties. So I remember it being, you know, Sarah McLachlan and Sheryl Crow and the Dixie Chicks; these were artists that I was totally aware of, but I was a punk teenager taking drugs and going to raves. I was not necessarily listening to that music.
GLAMOUR: In 2010, did you have any reservations about playing the revival?
Tegan: In a perfect world, all festivals would represent across-the-board diversity: women, people of color, and LGBTQ people. It goes without saying that I wish every festival had that mandate. To me, it's completely a no-brainer; at this point, there's no excuse for why festivals have such low numbers. I truly believe it's complete laziness. I call out all festivals. I think it's absolutely embarrassing, and we're friends with lots of people who throw festivals. It’s shameful. But that being said, I think that there's value in having an all-women festival, even if there were women represented on everything.
Sara: I always have this feeling of [wanting] to be included in all the festivals. I don't want to just have to be on a festival for women or for a festival for gay people or whatever it is. I like the idea that there are festivals that are diverse and speak to a variety of types of genres and music and people. That's where I sort of eventually ended up. But I do believe, at the time, it was a real revolutionary thing.
GLAMOUR: Do you think that Lilith Fair would work today? Would you play the festival?
Tegan: I want to believe it would. When I think about a female-fronted festival right now, with a range of huge artists, from P!nk and Alicia Keys to Lady Gaga and Katy Perry to smaller artists like Tegan and Sara and Shura and MUNA and Grimes, there's just so much incredible music. Look at how successful the Women's March was. Obviously, we have millions of people who feel that women need to still be empowered; young girls still need encouragement and people to look up to.
Sara: I would totally play it. I have a lot of different opinions. There is a part of me that doesn’t want to have to be isolated in subgroups based on my sexuality or my gender. But then on the other hand, I think maybe there's space for all of those things.
GLAMOUR: How would you describe the brand of feminism that Lilith had — and how do you describe what the crowd came there wanting?
Tegan: We were so young when Lilith first started that I wouldn't put words in Sara's mouth for why she did it. But I'm assuming now that we've had 20 years in the business, she probably did it for the same reason why I would want to: because there's such a lack of women at festivals. Even the really alternative festivals — actually, the more alternative the festival, the more men. It opens a whole other can of worms as to why we felt so embraced by punk-pop and pop music because when we were considered an indie-rock band, we were surrounded by men all the time. It's a very white, very heterosexual, and very male world. I often felt like we were outsiders because we weren't even just a female-fronted indie-rock band, we were a queer band, and that didn't always make us feel like we were accepted. It just made us feel awkward. I imagine that a lot of these huge touring rock festivals had no women, or hardly any women, and you look at this lineup of Tracy Chapman, Shawn Colvin, Paula Cole, Sarah McLachlan, Indigo Girls, and Dixie Chicks combining to have a festival, and that seems ideal to me. I feel nervous and awkward playing festivals because there's so much jockeying for position and camaraderie between certain kinds of bands, and often as the only queer band and the only female-fronted band, I feel awkward and left out.
GLAMOUR: Are there differences between the feminism of that time during Lilith Fair and the feminism of now that you've observed?
Sara: Oh, yeah. 100 percent. I think one of the things that has been required of all of us is recognizing that you can't look at feminism or antiracism or being a good LGBTQ ally without considering intersectionality and all the different types of folks that are often grouped under these sort of umbrellas. Again, I was a teenager, and my politics were radical. They were also shaped by my mother, who was a feminist, a therapist, and an activist. I actually feel like it's so refreshing because it's an awakening for so many people. Things are so much better now. I have friends who are in bands that are in their early 20s, and they're talking about these things that we felt so isolated about when we were first starting out.
GLAMOUR: Do you think that there are any ways in which the environment is not as progressive now as it was in the nineties?
Tegan: I think that when you take a step forward, there's often an inevitable pushback. And I don't think there's enough research to explain why. There are lots of hypotheticals thrown out. For instance in Brazil, when they passed gay marriage, there was an increase in hate crimes. Now, were there actually more hate crimes, or are we just documenting them better now that there are actual laws to protect LGBTQ people? The early aughts was just a real intense, testosterone-fueled cock-fest. I don't know if that was in response to Lilith Fair, but certainly there was an increase in that. That's also when boy bands, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears blew up that late-nineties female-fronted era of music. There might be a parallel there. Maybe when we just have too much of one thing, it tips the scales and then we have to balance it all out. Right now, there are a lot of amazing female artists who are doing incredible things, are the top-selling artists, and are selling a lot of records. There's a movement to diversify festival lineups, and there is change coming. I do believe it's a cycle, for sure.
GLAMOUR: Do you think that the shift in mainstream music from mostly rock in the nineties to mostly pop now, or pop-oriented music, has helped women or made things more comfortable for women in music?
Tegan: As a woman who started more in a rock band, the first five years of our career, there was this incredible desire by people to classify us as folk, even though we were way more indie rock than rock. Jealous, The Con, and Sainthood were incredibly well-received [records], incredibly critically acclaimed, and did really well for us, and we had a lot of alternative radio play. But while we were much more respected and much more successful, we also received the most amount of homophobia and misogyny. And I think that was due to the fact that we were playing guitar. That sort of is [considered] male territory, and I think that there's more men who get angry when you're holding a guitar because they're like, That's mine. There is still very much a drought and a lack of women in the rock world.
|Posted by Beck on July 6, 2017 at 6:40 PM||comments (0)|
Tegan Quin: I’m curious about how you approached being “out” in the music industry and in your band. Was it a conversation with everyone? Or were you always out?
Lynn Gvnn: I came out to my family when I was 18. I don’t remember there ever being a conversation amongst the band or management regarding me being “out,” but I do remember a big debate in my head that existed for a little while before things with PVRIS fully set sail. I never wanted to compromise in fear of others’ approval, and I recognize the importance of being “out” as far as representation and visibility. [But] the debate existed from a different angle [for me]… I wanted to be “out,” but I wanted it to be the last thing people paid attention to. I didn’t want to be known as a gay woman playing music; I just wanted to be a musician who also just happened to be gay.
TQ: Do you feel comfortable talking about being queer in the press? Do you even identify as queer? Or as a lesbian? I know more and more young people are shaking off labels. Do you feel comfortable sharing how you identify?
LG: Initially, when people began to ask me about it, I felt uneasy. Not because I didn’t feel comfortable speaking about my sexuality, but because I always questioned the intentions of the interviewers and the intent behind the questions being asked. And again, I never wanted the topic of my sexuality to draw away attention from our music and art. However, now more than ever, representation and visibility is absolutely crucial in my opinion, so I feel more than happy to talk about it. As for how I identify, I absolutely love women and have yet to feel the same way about men, so I definitely just identify as gay!
TQ: I’m also wondering how your identity plays a role in your band. I know the rest of your band is male. And since my band is just [my identical twin sister] Sara and me, my identity and Sara’s identity play a huge role in the music, the lyrical content, our imaging, etc. Is it the same for you? Or different because you share the band with two other men?
LG: This is a great question. I’ve never really thought about it? I write all of our lyrical content and come up with our creative concepts and visuals, but I always try to make sure everything I’m saying is representative of and applies to all three of us as a unit. It happens pretty naturally.
TQ: Sara and I felt VERY much like we had to be out. It was never a question if we were going to be honest or keep it private. We felt a responsibility to our audience who were quite young and female, to be honest about who we were and the challenges we were facing and what we were writing about. Did you feel this way? And what role or responsibility do you think public figures like yourself have to play in being out or being involved in the social justice of LGBTQ rights? I’m also wondering how you feel now that you’re further into your career. Has it changed? Do you feel it in any way marginalizes your music or success?
LG: Absolutely! I definitely always recognized the importance of representation and visibility, so it wasn’t even a question as to whether I was to be open with my sexuality or not. The only hesitancy in my mind existed in what I explained earlier. That mindset still applies for me nowadays, but the hesitance around it, regarding press and the media, has definitely dissolved. In today’s climate, I think it’s crucial to talk about. As for other public figures, I can’t speak for them because not everyone has been given the same circumstances, so it definitely inspires me, to be involved for those who can’t be, and I hope that can inspire others as well.
TQ: Can you give me a quick overview of what you have coming up in the next year? What does the rest of 2017 look like for PVRIS!?
LG: So much! We’ve got a new record coming out in August, so [there’s] that whole process! After that, just lots and lots of touring, filming for more videos, and everything else that comes with a new record cycle. [Laughs] The biggest thing on the list though is to enjoy it!
TQ: And then lastly, any advice for a band on their eighth record who’s been touring for 20 years? You must have some awesome tour/life/industry hacks, being 23, that I could adopt to ensure I’m on the cutting edge of the music biz!? SERIOUSLY THOUGH!
LG: [Laughs] I’m probably the worst person to ask… I was hoping to ask you YOUR secrets!
LG: I’m not familiar with your’s and Sara’s coming out stories… What was your experience? Did you both figure out your sexuality and come out around the same time?
TQ: Sara came out first. There were some bumps initially with some family, but they came around pretty quickly. I came out next. Sara had weathered most of the trauma of coming out, so my coming out was a pretty easy affair. I’d go so far as saying it became a non-issue once Sara was “out.” I think everyone just assumed I was gay, too. I think it was pretty obvious. My haircut didn’t help.
LG: The amount of LGBTQ representation, support, and acceptance has obviously progressed so much over the past 20 years. What’s it like to look back to when you began and see where you are now? What were some of the biggest struggles just starting out? Which struggles that existed back then are you still seeing today?
TQ: While we never even considered being closeted, I think we definitely sensed awkwardness about our sexuality with the industry when we first started in the ’90s. That left us often speaking very little about it initially, but we never lied or hid it.
I think there were genuine fears and concerns that being “out” would hinder our success within our team or the label, but, for us, we saw no future in the mainstream, so once we were embraced by alternative music, we just pushed forward full steam ahead and accepted that we were going to be seen as a “lesbian band.” And we were okay with that. I think being women held us back much more often than being gay. We worked in alternative music for 10 years before we moved to pop. And that’s a man’s world. Us being gay may have helped us there rather than hurt us.
I think everything has changed. And nothing has changed. All at the same time. Depending on the day or which way I squint my eyes, I can be here or back then in a second. It’s just the way it is… but we’ll keep fighting.
LG: You and Sara recently launched the Tegan and Sara Foundation—which is so incredible, by the way. How long of a process has this been to organize this and finally launch it? What other organizations were you involved with prior?
TQ: We’ve always been politically active and interested in giving back to our community. Over the years, we discussed starting a foundation to legitimize and hopefully expand our activism and ability to give. This year it just finally made sense to do it. We’ve always focused on giving to grassroots organizations and leaned towards LGBTQ orgs or women’s organizations. So the foundation will do the same. We have access, privilege, and visibility right now. And we see it as our responsibility to use those things to access funds and funnel them to the LGBTQ organizations working in the trenches. Women and girls are underfunded, underrepresented, and under-researched in the LGBTQ community. We want to work to change that in any way we can. For us, this is not a vanity project. We truly see ourselves as activists and wouldn’t have the career we do if not for the support of our community.
LG: Over the past few years, the band and I have noticed a drastic shift when we play live, because we’ve seen a sort of LGBTQ “safe space” developing at our shows… Was this a similar thing for you and Sara? Was it a slow growing process or was it something that was present right off the bat?
TQ: We figured out really quickly that, as openly queer women in a band, we were going to see a lot of LGBTQ people at shows, even if they didn’t know who we were, as our shows became community spaces. People came to see their friends and support the community. Music is a wonderful way to bring together different people, and so we focused on ensuring our shows were open-minded, all ages, LGBTQ-friendly, and a “safe space” from day one. But, in recent years, we absolutely continue to look for ways to ensure it’s truly a safe space. From bathrooms to culturally competent security to our messaging from stage, we ensure our fans feel comfortable, safe, and welcome at our shows.
LG: This question is slightly serious, slightly kidding… I think LGBTQ people are absolutely fucking MAGICAL. I genuinely feel like there’s something magic that exists in us that I have yet to identify. Do you agree? If so, what do you think that “magic” is?
TQ: [Laughs] I agree! Seriously. I feel special for sure. I have always said, through thick and thin, good and bad, highs and lows as a gay person, I feel so lucky to have been born this way. I feel like my perspective on life and love and myself and society, is so unique, and I also feel like I’ve used my otherness to become a more empathetic person. I feel like I haven’t ever felt like I’ve been on the same path as anyone [else]. My life feels so unique. How people engage with me is so unique. It’s made me feel very magical at times. Definitely.
LG: What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself in the past 20 years of touring that you don’t think you could have learned any other way?
TQ: This is going to sound silly, but I think I learned that I love business. I am seen as an “artist.” And I am. But I think what I truly love is solving problems. Details. Efficiency. Running a team. Being involved with a team. Marketing and strategy. Through eight records and 20 years, we’ve really only had mainstream success a few times. Mostly we have worked in the underground, just below the surface of the mainstream. So we had to learn how to thrive and succeed with very little mainstream support or radio. The challenge of gaming the system and stretching a dollar has become my obsession!
LG: I found myself completely burnt out after only two to three years of nonstop touring, how in the WORLD have you managed 20 years of it? What’s the most important thing you’ve learned over the years to stay in a relatively healthy mental state through it all? How have you stayed excited and inspired?
TQ: The best piece of advice I ever got was after nearly two years of being chronically sick on the road. Our managers sent me to a family member who was a naturopathic doctor. She prescribed a bunch of natural remedies and gave me a strict diet to follow, to help battle my low immunity and post-antibiotic body. But also, she took me aside after the appointment and said that I needed to allow myself to be sick and also to get better; that it was obvious I felt like I had to do everything, be everything, say yes to everything, be okay all the time. And that I was not going to be able to do that. And that I literally had to ask everyone around me—including my band and crew—to be sick, to lay in the back and just... get better. She basically was the first person who brought “stress makes you sick” into my life. I changed EVERYTHING after that.
We have slowly been learning to say no. We also eat as well as we can. I also pretty much refuse to do any press before 1pm. I think getting enough sleep on the tour bus is pretty much an oxymoron—like, I wake up exhausted no matter how many hours I get—but I think rushing to do early morning things leads to an early band death. You need to find joy in every day. It sounds silly and trite, but it’s true. If by the time you step on stage you’ve been working and talking and doing press and taking photos all day long, how can you possibly enjoy the show? I think separating press and promotion from the musician part of your day is super important.
I think we’ve managed to do this for 20 years because it’s not just our passion, it’s our purpose. Our audience, LGBTQ rights, being visible for our community, traveling the world, learning empathy, and experiencing the connection with hundreds of thousands of people over the past 20 years, fuels me in the lowest, most tired times. That being said, I am definitely burnt out. [Laughs]
|Posted by Beck on July 5, 2017 at 10:25 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Beck on July 1, 2017 at 11:10 PM||comments (0)|
Tegan and Sara have hand chosen 26 Vimeo videos for their Pick Playlist. From shorts to music videos, pop duo Tegan and Sara curate their favorite LGBTQ+ films. Watch the playlist HERE.
|Posted by Beck on July 1, 2017 at 6:30 PM||comments (0)|
Pride is a time to come together and celebrate the variety, vitality, and beauty of our community. It’s also a time to pay homage to our history. So much has changed and improved for LGBTQ people, but it’s also important to remember the fight. Many LGBTQ people still feel like outsiders in their day-today lives.
When we started playing music in 1997, we were not under a lot of pressure to keep our sexuality a secret. Our music was pretty alternative and we spent the first five or six years fairly underground. We got to live as out artists and build a community around us who knew who we were entirely–which was wonderful.
We definitely experienced regular run-ins with homophobia, sexism, and misogyny from the press, promoters, other bands, and the general public. We were lucky to have a great support system, great friends, each other, and an unusually high sense of purpose and self confidence to power through.
The reality, however, is that over the last 17 years, the list of homophobic injustices, remarks, sad stories, and embarrassing moments that we’ve experienced is long and continues to grow. By continuing to fight them, we hope we’ve made things better, even in a small way.
Before taking a tour of the Los Angeles LGBT Center last year, we had no idea how many different areas it touches. It’s really impressive. The headquarters building itself was just so big and so beautiful and the staff was so helpful and knowledgeable. We were truly moved (and surprised) at how expansive and broad the programs
The Center is a wonderful example of how community still exists in the LGBTQ world.
are, but we were particularly wowed by the Transitional Living Program for youth who are experiencing homelessness, and by the services for seniors.
At the Center’s medical clinic, we were shocked to learn about the insufficient training medical students receive regarding LGBTQ health. We’ve heard story after story about LGBTQ people who struggle to advocate for themselves in a medical setting and don’t know what type of questions to ask their doctor. Even today, too many people avoid going to a doctor simply because they don’t want to out themselves. At the Center, no one ever has to worry about that.
We will continue to focus our energy on funding organizations that are making the world a better place for LGBTQ people and to support programs that address the unique issues experienced by women and girls in the LGBTQ community. It would be incredible if the leading edge, LGBTQ specialty care offered by the Center was available to people throughout the country. Sadly this isn’t the case (yet), but we are fighting to make it a reality.
The Center is a wonderful example of how community still exists in the LGBTQ world. The spectrum of programs is invaluable to people of all ages and provides an incredible foundation for our community. By supporting the Center personally, and through the Tegan and Sara Foundation, we’re stepping up our efforts to raise more and do more for LGBTQ women and girls who have supported us for nearly 20 years.
Learn more about the duo’s foundation at teganandsarafoundation.org