Phoebe Bridgers says she’s ‘so proud’ to be the queer representation her younger self needed

Phoebe Bridgers on the queer joy of boygenius.

American singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers has opened up about the importance of queer joy in the music industry following rave reviews for boygenius’ debut album ‘the record’.

Grammy-nominated Bridgers makes up one third of the indie rock supergroup boygenius, along with Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker. Their long-awaited first album dropped on Friday (31 March), to critical acclaim.

Speaking to Vogue about what it means for boygenius to connect with queer listeners, Bridgers said: “I’m so proud of our group dynamic, and as a bisexual woman in straight relationships, it feels weird to talk about it so much.”

The “Motion Sickness” singer made headlines last year for her under-the-radar relationship with Normal People actor Paul Mescal, which is now understood to be over, although neither have made a public statement confirming the news.

“That said, I wish there were more types of queer people visible to me when I was growing up,” she continued.

“And when it comes to our band and our shared dynamic, I have no shame about stepping forward and being like, ‘This is what we look like and how we feel and what we believe in’.”

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It’s something Bridgers has previously reflected on in light of the increasingly hostile environment LGBTQ+ people are facing in the US.

“The government actually actively trying to kill the coolest people is something I think about every day,” Bridgers told Them.

“It’s so overwhelming how different the world would be if the AIDS epidemic had never happened. It’s so overwhelming to me, to my exact world, everything that I value. And all the lost potential.”

‘I think it’s weird to put that on people in media to be role models or f***ing politicians’

This loss of talent is why, for Bridgers at least, being visibly and vocally queer holds so much value.

“It’s funny talking about visibility, because you can’t assume that any of us are gay, so we do have to talk about it,” she said in the Vogue interview. “It’s like that with gender stuff, too.

“Like, I know a lot of people who present in a way that isn’t accurate to their gender, so all of these things do need to be spoken about a little bit more.

“Maybe you can catch us all flagging at times. I don’t mind talking about it, especially with these guys [Baker and Dacus], because it’s just another thing we relate on.”

Although she is happy to be a beacon of representation, especially in the indie rock genre which is overwhelmingly populated by cis straight white men, Bridgers emphasised that it isn’t her responsibility to do so.

Boygenius. (L to R) Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers.
Band boygenius is Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers. (Getty)

“I think it’s weird to put that on people in media to be role models or f***ing politicians, as if we’re all trained lobbyists for collective change,” she continued. “I care, but I’m not a scientist.

“I read the distilled stuff for dummies, so to speak on really important stuff… we may not be experts in these things, but we are the experts of our own lives. So, I feel better about talking about our experiences and representing queerness in general.

“I would have been happy to look up to us when I was 12, and that’s something I can be proud of.”

the record is soaked with unabashed queer joy and celebrates the intimacy of true friendship that has evolved between the band members of boygenius.

“We’re all pretty into the queer joy concept and lifestyle, and just to have shown up and made something that is joyful and realised is a drop in the bucket that I can be proud of,” Dacus told Vogue.

In their five star review, NME called it a “gorgeous testament to what can happen when you allow yourself to fully be seen”, adding that the trio creates a “brighter bolder existence, enabling them to light up individually and together at the same time”.

the record is now available to stream on Spotify.

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