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HERSTORY IN THE MAKING

YOUNG M.A OPENS UP ABOUT HER SEXUALITY, HER LOVE LIFE, AND WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE BEING AN OUT LESBIAN IN HIP-HOP.

COVER STORY

SOUTHBANK CENTRE

I’m uncharacteristically nervous before interviewing Young M.A. I can’t help worrying that the swaggering Brooklyn rapper will be way too cool for someone like me. I decide my best strategy is to play up the obvious differences between us—she’s a fearless hip-hop artist who opened for Beyoncé, has over 200 million YouTube views, and spits her male counterparts under the nightclub table—and me, well, I’m a slightly posh, very silly writer who often trips over her own high heels. As I dial her number, I pray she gets the joke. It’s a journalistic gamble, but luckily one that pays of. She cracks up when I ask, doing my best impression of Dame Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey, “So, M.A, have you really been getting bitches since the third grade?”

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About Curve

This is our Love issue, and inside we celebrate many formal expressions of love and commitment from diverse couples in different locations. We also remind readers to safeguard their health—sexual, psychological, and physical—which still needs to be maintained even within a committed relationship. Love isn’t as random as Cupid’s arrow. Getting it and keeping it need to be worked at. Decades of activism and visibility gave us the right to formalize our romantic unions—and vigilance will give us the right keep it.