In the ever-evolving landscape of the Bronx LGBTQ+ community, characterized by the presence of community centers, parades, and social gatherings, live performances stand as a vibrant highlight. Among the stars gracing these venues and events, one name consistently shines: James Young, known by their stage persona, I.Den.t.T.
They are a self-described educator, advocate, and connector, who has embarked on a remarkable journey of self-discovery and identity. Their ongoing evolution serves as a testament to the fluidity that characterizes many LGBTQ+ individuals.
Within the dynamic environment of the Bronx’s LGBTQ+ community, an atmosphere of openness and vivaciousness prevails. Regular performance venues, community centers, organizations, and an extensive network of supporters, ranging from politicians to everyday citizens, contribute to this lively tapestry of acceptance and inclusion.
When asked about the origin of their stage name, I.Den.t.T, they offered an emotionally charged explanation, shedding light on the profound personal significance it holds for them. “My stage name is a reminder to myself to continue to explore who I am as authentically as possible. Covered in so many layers of social norms, it can be a challenge to fully understand what is a part of me and what was pushed on me. I hope my stage name also gives others permission to continue to uncover and discover their identity. Furthermore, when we explore our identities, many times people will want to tell us who they think we are. To them, I offer ‘It’s called Identity, not Youdentity, so who gets to decide?'”
This is their journey; many will face more positive or negative outcomes. However, as society becomes more accepting, days like National Coming Out Day serve as a beacon of light for many. While those against LGBTQ+ rights may find reasons to object, for many, it is an opportunity to confront their own self-identities and, if fortunate, connect with like-minded individuals.
“We all know the customary response to a sneeze, irrespective of one’s religious beliefs. However, as a nation, we often find ourselves bewildered when someone comes out to us. Yet, learning the appropriate response can be both simple and life-affirming. So, here it is: just say, ‘Thank you for sharing this with me,'” they said when asked why National Coming Out Day was necessary.
Their upcoming single embodies the essence of what National Coming Out Day represents. Specifically, they explain why this particular release has to coincide with this specific day. The song is “Out on the Floor 2GETHER REMIX.” The original ballad was meant to be a queer-affirming wedding song. They wrote it when they were 17, living on their own, and in a world where it was illegal for people like them to get married. They say, “I didn’t think I would make it to my 18th birthday as I felt like no one would ever love me, let alone find a community to belong to. And then this song poured out of me like a fantasy, a wish, a dream that provided hope for me that one day I would find myself, my people, and my connections.” Releasing this remix now serves as a reminder to all that we can be “out on the floor” as ourselves, even if that doesn’t feel like it can ever happen. And that is the message of National Coming Out Day. Standing strong together out on the floor is how we lobby for rights, support and comfort each other, and be seen in a world that seems to want to erase us.
If you haven’t had a chance to catch I.Den.t.T perform, I highly recommend following them on social media to stay updated on their next performance. And if you cannot attend a live performance, consider purchasing their songs such as “Queerphoria,” or “Out on the Floor 2GETHER REMIX,” already released just in time for National Coming Out Day on October 11th.
To stay up to date on I.Den.t.T’s music, social media, and website, follow this link: https://www.identt.biz/
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