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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 291 > SOUTHERN COMFORT


LELAND has written some of your fave RuPaul’s Drag Race songs, and worked on Troye Sivan’s beautiful debut Blue Neighbourhood and Selena Gomez’s Fetish. Attitude meets him in LA as he releases his debut solo single, Mattress


“IT’S A CUTE LITTLE ARTSY TOWN ON THE BEACH,” says singer and songwriter Leland, aka Brett McLaughlin, of his picturesque, yet subdued, hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. “When you think ‘beach’, you think ‘beautiful’ and ‘lovely’ and, yes, there are parts of it that are, but also the water is not clean. No one really swims in the water.”

Conservative, religious Mississippi is well known for being steeped in tradition and having a less-than-welcoming attitude towards LGBT+ people. Strangely, being sent to Christian private school Belmont University in Nashville by his mother provided a 17-year-old Leland with a lucky escape. “I immediately could tell it was the gayest place I’d ever been,” he tells me as we talk on the balcony of his home in Los Angeles, a recent purchase with the well-earned royalties from the music he’s written. “I thought, ‘fantastic!’ Belmont ended up being a gay Mecca, because it is like a homing beacon for every gay boy in the

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