Photo courtesy of Keiynan Lonsdale

What Keiynan Lonsdale's "Kiss The Boy" Means For The Future Of Pop

P.S. The future is queer

As spring gets into full bloom, music artists are continuing to break barriers, blur the lines and push us in a new direction. Just three months into 2018, the pop world is having a moment as openly queer artists like Keiynan Lonsdale, Hayley Kiyoko, Troye Sivan, Years & Years and Kim Petras thrive with anthems about unapologetically being the most authentic versions of themselves (and we should also use this as an opportunity to praise Laverne Cox for dropping "Beat For The Gods" when we truly needed it most). It's amazing how hearing someone sing about the person who ignites the fire in their desire while using the pronouns that come naturally to them can change your entire listening experience. For the next generation, this is really the only option if artists are still aiming to be relatable with their material.

While it's been incredible to see some of the buzziest stars of our time show their support by publicly aligning themselves as allies of the LGBT community, it makes even more of a difference in terms of progress when the faces promoting these movements are actually a part of that world. These voices deserve a platform to have their messages heard rather than standing on the sideline and in the shadow of a bigger, brighter star. Visibility matters across all fronts.

It's important to point out the problematic nature of identifying someone with labels in general, especially when based on sexual orientation—but it's also worth celebrating that the current and legendary voices of queer authenticity in pop music are causing waves outside the genre. Emerging acts across musical realms like Kehlani, Snail Mail, SOPHIE, Tommy Genesis, BROCKHAMPTON, Kodie Shane, Syd, Sateen and Quay Dash are also paving a smoother path for equality in their lanes of the industry. At the end of the day, all of these talents are human beings and shouldn't be defined by who they are attracted to, as long as they can make us dance our asses off and love a little more, too.

VMAs 2018