What It Means to Be LGBTQ+ in Electronic Music

Pride Flag + Heart Hands
Photo Credit: lazyllama / Shutterstock.com

The LGBTQ+ community has always been part of the fabric of electronic music, so let’s hear what a few of them have to say about the scene.


The origins of electronic music inarguably come from marginalized communities and we often recall the Black influence on music like disco, house, and bass. And while it’s unlikely anyone would argue that there wasn’t a strong LGBTQ+ influence in this history, it isn’t as well documented. Outside of the clubs, the queer lifestyle was more closeted at the time and not as immediately visible as, say, being Black. This period was also challenging for LGBTQ+ people because, unlike today, there was little solidarity between each of those letters (and acronyms like this were yet to exist early on), never mind the scene at large.

Despite a very challenging political landscape in the world today, members of the LGBTQ+ community are more out and seen than ever before, and the queer community at large embraces and supports a rainbow of identities. This seems to have created a watershed moment in electronic music where not only are LGBTQ+ artists out and proud, but many are just now going public with an identity they previously didn’t share outside of close circles.

We asked several artists what it means to them to be LGBTQ+ in the electronic music scene and how the scene influences them or vice-versa. Spencer Brown, Wreckno, Qrion, Mz Worthy, and Olan all share beautiful and touching stories that tie into the scene today. Not only are these artists out and proud, but they are also part of a movement that is leading electronic music, and its fans, into a bright new future. Read on to hear directly from these powerful humans and talented musicians!


Spencer Brown

Spencer Brown (he/him)

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | SoundCloud

The dance music scene has always been my safe haven since I was a teenager. It doesn’t matter who you are as long as you bring good energy and treat all with respect. Labels are shattered. It feels great to be openly gay, helping enable others’ self-love who may be struggling. You are loved and welcomed in our culture.

– Spencer Brown

Wreckno

Wreckno (he/they)

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | SoundCloud

The electronic music scene was one of the first places I really felt comfortable expressing myself in. When I first started attending festivals I didn’t really see any people that represented myself headlining festivals, and I’m so glad that’s changed in the last 5 years. We’re coming into a new era where so many talented LGBTQIA+ artists are able to have a platform and shine, and I’m so lucky I get to feel like I’m part of it. 

– Wreckno

Qrion
Photo Credit: Julia Wang

Qrion (she/her)

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | SoundCloud

Talking about my sexuality used to be a tough thing for me to do since in my home country same gender marriage is still illegal. I am so grateful to be in the US and a part of the electronic scene. I feel comfortable and accepted here and I can share my story with community because it’s a big part of my life. I’m glad that as musicians we can use our platform openly to speak up and share our experiences.

Being a part of the electronic music scene has shown me that LBGTQ+ have a space to be accepted and treated equally. I am happy to be a part of this! Music is my output of how I express my feelings and being able to use my music and platform to connect with the LBGTQ+ community is special to me. I’m not sure when same gender marriage will be legal in Japan but I  hope that what I’m doing encourages people who are struggling to be more confident about themselves. All love should be equal and legal. 

– Qrion

Mz Worthy | Photo Credit: Joe Ramirez
Photo Credit: Joe Ramirez

Mz Worthy (she/her)

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | SoundCloud

Through my coming out in 2020, I’ve found a shift in what I believe the dance community means to me. Since my teens, the dance scene has always been a space where I have found deep connection and belonging. And I very much still do. However, now I believe that I have an obligation in the dance community to use my position to help provide more spaces for trans folks to feel safe and find their sense of belonging in the dance scene, the way I did. 

By using my platform to educate the dance community as a whole on what it means to be transgender and in transition, I hope that we can start normalizing the trans experience in the dance community to make more people feel safe and comfortable to be themselves. 

– Mz Worthy

OLAN
Photo Credit: Quinn Tucker / Quasarmedia

OLAN (she/her)

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | SoundCloud

Although I’ve known I was gay my entire life, dance music gave me the community and belonging I needed growing up. Seeing people freely express themselves with style made me feel safe and excited to explore my own identity and beliefs when I got older. I personally think that dance music is meant to provide a space for you to let go and embrace your environment, an idea that goes hand in hand with queer identity. Both are important to me because it means freedom to learn who you are rather than be told.

– Olan

Jared, aka JSkolie, was introduced to electronic music in the 1990’s by way of Orbital. He raved in parks and fields in South Florida where the entirety of the production was a DJ in a box truck. Now living in NYC, he attended his first Above & Beyond show in 2016 and his life has never been the same. Jared has been energized by the Trance community and its PLUR ethos. He is a supporter of harm reduction and is a DanceSafe volunteer. Jared enjoys endurance events and has danced for 12-hours straight while often recovering from raves with bike rides just as long. Or longer.