Before anyone interject the fact that Strangers isn’t the first contemporary pop record to create space for queer encounters, be mindful that this record is by two queer women overtly immortalizing a queer experience through their medium. It is somewhat imperative to acknowledge the miniscule cultural leaps as they occur. I was hesitant at first to expound on this particular topic for many reasons. As a queer person of the Black experience, miniscule leaps as such don’t tend to positively affect my life, socially or systemically. However, as an admirer of art, I am wholly aware of its effectiveness.
She doesn’t kiss me on the mouth anymore
‘Cause it’s more intimate, than she thinks we should get
She doesn’t look me in the eyes anymore
Too scared of what she’ll see, somebody holding me
Music, art in general has encapsulated our ambiguous growth throughout history. The inception of films excluded the very existence of Black folks then salvaged that matter by painting us a caricatures. The images on screen are slowly morphing into more realistic and less discriminatory portraits, however we are far from where we should be. On this record, Halsey and Lauren serenades us with their lulling voices in the most sincere way.
When I wake up all alone
And I’m thinking of your skin
I remember, I remember what you told me
A mainstream record by two queer women, elaborating on a queer ordeal is necessary. Necessary for personal liberation and cultural shift. Liberation manifest itself in many forms, and art has always been a device used to usher us into new beginnings. Listen to ‘Strangers’ and Halsey’s entire album here.