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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > Issue 496: Summer of Pride > L DEVINE.

L DEVINE.

The rising British star is here for a generation craving authenticity.

“I think I was always really scared growing up that I didn’t want to capitalise or cash-in on my sexuality,” says L Devine, curled up on a sofa at the East London studio she rehearses at. “It’s ridiculous now when I think about it.”

We’ve relocated from Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club – the backdrop of our photoshoot with the star – and have started to discuss how important it was to L Devine to be open about her sexuality from the start of her career. The oftentold story when it comes to LGBTQ musicians is that traditionally they have been encouraged to keep their sexual orientation under wraps. A new generation, however, have found themselves with a very different problem: they are resisting their identity potentially being exploited as a marketing narrative.

“I just didn’t want people to think I was using it as an arc or something like that,” L Devine continues. “Obviously there’s something in society that’s told me that that’s what I would be doing.

Even when I was 14 and I thought, ‘I really want to be a singer but what am I going to do about being a lesbian?’ I thought I’d have to say I am bisexual so that I could still appeal to boys. It’s just so weird that I would think that sex appeal would have to come into me making music.” She stops. “Now I realise that I should just be me and my sexuality is part of my story I’m telling through my music.”

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About Gay Times

Over the next 3 months, Gay Times Magazine will be celebrating the very essence of Pride – featuring voices and experiences of the entire LGBTQ initialism from all over the world. In our first volume, covered by Billy Porter, Valentina and Bretman Rock, we’re looking at the fluidity our modern community enjoys. These are people who have either fought for, given visibility to, or celebrated their power to express themselves in the most authentic (and downright fierce) way possible. Not only that, but they do it unapologetically, and with two fingers up to the patriarchy that governs what is considered ‘normal’. We also have a special extended travel section on everything New York City World Pride, giving you insight into the great metropolis that witnessed the birth of Pride. What’s more, there are interviews with the team bringing Tales of the City back to Netflix, making sure the enduring spirit of the queer community is front and centre. Elsewhere in the issue Ryan Jamaal Swain talks Pose, privilege and Pride; L Devine on bringing her sexuality front and centre in her music; Dustin Lance Black on his lifetime of activism; Angele Anang on being the first openly trans winner of Drag Race; Ryan O’Connell on why disabled people shouldn’t be used as ‘inspiration porn; plus fashion, opinion and art from all over the world.