“My journey with expressing my queerness in my work has been a pretty simple A to B [experience],” NOAH PEARCE tells Man About Town. Candidly documenting his experience as a transmasculine guy, spanning the reality of on-street harassment to gender dysphoria, in high definition on debut 2022 single “What The Other Boys Do” Pearce sang: “Imagine being stuck in the wrong skin / Someone sees me / Shouting at me calling me a freak show.”
“Back in 2020, when I had just come out, I was hurting so much that I couldn’t write about anything other than my trans experience,” he says. “Through the years, as I have gotten more and more comfortable in my skin, my need to write about it has lessened, and I have started to explore different themes in my life.” Not least on latest single “Ballet Dancer”, co-written and produced by powerhouse pop personnel like Dimitri Tikovoï (Charli xcx, Becky Hill), in which Pearce documents two people in love, separated by the divergent paths their lives are taking. And, with “Ballet Dancer” just the first single from Pearce’s upcoming second EP “Domicile”, the path to pop’s upper echelons would appear only to beckon in the coming months.
Sitting down with us, Pearce talks celebrating Pride Month in 2023, expressing queerness unapolagetically, and the, perhaps, surprising influence The Amazing Spider-Man helped kickstart his queer journey.
What does Pride Month mean to you as a queer person in 2023?
I think, like for many others as well, Pride Month is just a great opportunity to be extra loud and proud and unapologetically yourself, whatever that may entail. It’s also a time to re-read about the history of Pride and be extra thankful towards those who paved the way for us so many years ago.
Do you think through your artistry you’ve become more acquainted with your own queerness?
I don’t tend to spend too much time pondering my identity, as it’s a painful thing for me to do. I definitely think however, that the first songs I released were a sort of subconscious step towards fully accepting myself. I think, if I have become more acquainted with my queerness, it would more be through simply living my life and experiencing different things.
Have you ever faced hurdles in expressing queerness in an unvarnished, authentic way?
I have definitely felt silenced, disregarded, and mocked when speaking out about my personal experiences. Unfortunately, I think it’s a very common thing for a big portion of the LGBTQ+ community.
What do you think makes an environment conducive to openly expressing queerness?
I think simply the absolute willingness of others to listen and learn. Queerness comes in so many shapes and forms, that, even as part of the community oneself, there is always something to take away from listening to others recount their experiences.
Was there a lightbulb cultural moment or product that you consumed as a child that was impactful for you as a queer person?
As funny as this may sound, I remember, as a kid, watching The Amazing Spider-Man and being so fascinated by Peter Parker. I thought he was so cool and I remember going to bed every night wishing that I would somehow magically wake up as a boy so that I could be like him (obviously, I also wanted the super powers too). I think that was my first moment of actively wishing I was in a different body and thus the beginning of my queer journey.
Nowadays, when you’re not making art yourself, where do you find yourself turning to to consume queer culture?
I rely quite heavily on TikTok as there’s a seemingly endless stream of queer identities presenting themselves on there. I enjoy seeing how versatile our community is and have been lucky to find some super cool creators.
Who are some fellow queer creatives who are inspiring you just now?
I’m really into Bambie Thug. They’re a super cool musical artist doing super cool things. Other than them, I really like GIRLI and her infectious pride that she is constantly spreading.
What do you think the power of queer art is in the 2020s?
I think just the ability to tell so many people’s stories through music, writing, visual arts, etc. It’s incredible to be able to create art that may help others not feel so alone or to give a new perspective to people who were otherwise sceptical of us. It’s so important to teach people about our experiences and that is made far easier with the use of art.