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The Artist’s Way Workbook – Julia Cameron

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After almost 30 years this book definitely stands the test of time. It is still a must read, even a must DO for any creative soul looking to connect deeper with that creativity. If you have a creative block or simply find yourself a “shadow artist” and want to find ownership of your own creativity this book is highly recommended! Nourish that relationship with yourself, it is the most sacred relationship you have.

Under The Influence: 10 Questions for a New Year

By Jonathan Shuffield
Music is an ever changing and detailed landscape.  If you just look at the surface, it can be beautiful and smooth, but if you follow the heartbeat beneath it is a nuanced and vibrant tapestry beyond your imagination.  There are hard working musicians and vocalists all over the World you may not know if you don’t look deeper.  We are happy to shine our spotlight on some amazing queer artists you will definitely want to add to your playlist!  
(Feel free to email editor@thequeercentric.com if you have suggestions for us!)

GlassBattles (Los Angeles)

How do you approach a New Year? Resolutions/goals or…?

❤️‍🔥 I think like most people, I used to set a lot of goals upon the new year and crown it “my year” for a long time. Now I am just trying to appreciate the day I have and plan things with hope and creativity. And the possibility of Taco Bell at some point.

How has your music changed or been influenced by the pandemic? Has it?

❤️‍🔥Oh, I think it’s definitely changed. Interestingly though, it’s been what I’ve wanted to do – being more honest and vulnerable with my feelings whatever they may be: anger, sadness, joy, sexiness etc. I want everyone to know me and where I’m coming from without trying to abstract it as much. 

Do you have new music on the horizon?

❤️‍🔥Aaaaaabsolutely. I have a new single out soon, and many for the rest of the year. ‘Nights In Cyberia’ as an album is going to be a nice, long rollout with a lot of cool things on the horizon musically.

What are some essentials on your playlist currently?

❤️‍🔥I’ve strangely started listening to a lot of movie trailer music. The drama babe. It’s very inspiring. Otherwise my go-to songs right now are “Washing Machine Heart” by Mitski, “24 Hours” by Agnes, “Cream” by Prince, “Apocalypse” by Cigarettes After Sex, “Godhead” by Garbage, “Flip It” by Mercy Collazo, “maybeidontthinksobutithinksobutidoubtit” by SNG, and a lot of others 

What is your favorite song that you have recorded so far?

❤️‍🔥Right now it is a tie between ‘Violeta’ and ‘Darling’. I know that’s corny because they’re my most recent, but I really went in with a no-holds-barred approach to being angry and empowered, and also nostalgic and sad. 

Listen to Violeta – https://youtu.be/JVZ7YUjjbd0

Listen to Darling – https://youtu.be/oYKrJG2zlVs

Finish this sentence “Life without music is…”

❤️‍🔥A lot less pressure. Just kidding. I think life without music to me is very senseless. As an artist, I’m an escapist at heart so the power of a song to take you somewhere else is vital to me and so many over the past couple of years, especially.

What excites you about making music?

❤️‍🔥SO MUCH. Creating a new story, watching people react to a new level of myself every time, hearing a barely-there idea come to fruition, the visuals…you name it and it’s my favorite part.

 A musician to watch (other than yourself of course)

❤️‍🔥Is there anyone else?? Jkjkjk. I would say Mercy Collazo, Kaleena Zanders and SNG. Some may accuse me of being partial because I have the honor of being their friends, but I truly believe they are all on the cusp of something spectacular; especially in an industry that still turns its nose down to queer people of color. To me, Mercy is like the child of Radiohead and Adele, Kaleena is the child of Grace Jones and Cece Peniston, and SNG is the child of BlackPink and Rihanna. They’re all very inspiring.

Live performance vs. creating in the studio

❤️‍🔥I’d have to say creating in the studio. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE performing, but I am in my comfort zone when I’m recording. Being able to try out different things and hear a bare instrumental come to life is honestly magic.

If you could make one wish for your listeners this year, what would it be?

❤️‍🔥It would be to stream my songs on a constant loop all day long. Just kidding, I think it would be to not be averse to listening to full bodies of work from an artist, and to stray away from the overload of just singles coming through the streaming platforms. And hopefully I wish to inspire them to try something that feels authentic to them.

What Being Queer Means to ME

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Growing up I knew there was something different about me, but at the time I was sheltered being a minor and a dependent of a career military man.  What I mean is I did not know what being gay was really until high school,  I had a best friend who was 1 year ahead of me who came out to me because he liked me, but was not sure if I was gay or not.  I was, but was shocked to know, one, that I was not the only one and, two, that he was.  This may sound weird to you, but I was living in Delta Jct., Alaska at the time with a population of about 1000 people. If you included the army base, Fort Greely, there were about another 1000. My senior class was 28 students, that included students from smaller towns up to 50 miles away. That is why it was a shock.

We never did anything, but stayed friends for another 7 years when we moved to San Fransico together, as friends, to explore what it was like to be gay.

I was in San Francisco for two years before coming out to my parents.  We used to talk 2 or 3 times a week, but it went for almost a month before they talked to me again. They needed time to talk, research and talk to the minister of the LDS Church (that did not go well).  They asked if I was happy and I said yes, so they said they were happy for me and still loved me.  We stayed close, maybe closer after that, and with their help and support I came out to the rest of my family. 

I was very lucky to have family on both sides who accepted me. I have been very lucky in life with my travels to have never run into the haters, outside of PRIDE events.  I have always been honest with my employers and have never had problems with them.

Back to What Queer Means to Me.  I do not see myself as being different, I see those who are not accepting of others as  different. Basically I look at haters, bigots, the intolerant as being “different.” My partner of 25 years and I may not be able to make a life when we make love, but we love each other.  So if we are different because of that and some choose to hate us and that makes me Queer than I will wear that badge with honor!

Never Sleep Alone with Dr. Alex Schiller

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Sex and dating expert Dr. Alex Schiller* teams up with celebrity guests to tackle wild questions from anonymous callers in this hysterically funny podcast that entertains, empowers and educates. As The New York Times says: “Dr. Alex is darn good at what she does.”

Flannelwood-Raymond Luzak

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We’ve all been there, haunted by the one that got away. Never truly understanding what happened or how it ended, all you have are the ghosts left behind. In the novel “Flannetwood” by author and playwright Raymond Luczak, we are allowed to delve into the self-indulgent emotions of times like these. Flowing like prose, speaking directly to our own vulnerable experiences, this is a great read for any season.

Unf*ck Your Brain – Kara Loewentheil, J.D.,

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UnF*ck Your Brain is the podcast for high-achieving feminist people who struggle with anxiety, self-doubt, and imposter syndrome. If you know you’ve accomplished a lot professionally but still secretly feel like you’re unqualified….if you want to feel confident but you worry about what everyone else thinks about you…if you want to succeed but fear failure…this podcast is for you. In each episode Master Certified Confidence Coach Kara Loewentheil, J.D., will teach you how to overcome social conditioning and your own self-critical thoughts so that you can reduce your anxiety and insecurity, boost your self-confidence, and get what you want in life.

Rational Relating: The Smart Way to Stay Sane in the Crazy World of Love – Damon L. Jacobs

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Let’s face it, relationships can sometimes be hard to navigate, but author and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Damon L. Jacobs, is here to provide you with just the right tools for your relationship toolbox. In a time where we need to connect with each other more than ever, even the best of us can use a little brush up on the skills for nurturing the authentic and affirming relationships around us.

What Being Queer Means to Me

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By Chase Lawrence

Growing up in a conservative household, it was embedded into my mind at an early age the classic and damaging examples of toxic masculinity.  “You’re a boy, Chase…you need to do boy things like play sports!”, my Father and Mother would say.  Knowing that I was one way and what society wanted me to be was the opposite of that, I grew to wonder if I would ever be able to live a life that was true to my most authentic self.

​As I got older and the society around me that had once tried to confine me to a box had evolved, I felt liberated and confident that I was a queer man and that was my true self, to my very core.  Being queer, for me, means being able to be free, to be liberated, to be able to look at oneself and say, ‘I am not bogged down by a bunch of righteous beliefs, gender confirming stereotypes. I am free to be me!’  But most importantly, being queer means not apologizing.  I’ve learned that as we move on in life, meet new people, and make changes in our own lives, we encounter individuals who are not so understanding of who we are born to be.  They use their own insecurities, lack of cultural understanding, and general ignorance to try and bring you down.  Being queer has given me the ability to not allow people to try and disrupt my journey towards happiness and self-satisfaction.  It’s a superpower, almost, that allows me to overcome all obstacles that life has tossed at me from any direction.

​Despite all of this, I am always mindful that the road that lay ahead of me was paved by those who did not have the privilege to live lives that were true to their unique and authentic selves.  I believe another part of being queer is being able to know not only where you are going in life, but to reflect on those that laid the ground you are walking on.  People like Marsha P. Johnson, Harvey Milk, to name a few of the many trailblazing pioneers that allowed people like myself to live the kind of life we live today.  We can never move forward towards full equality for all queer people without recognizing and appreciating those who helped us get to be where we are and who we are today.

What Queer Means To Me

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By Jonathan Shuffield

Representation matters! We have said it a million plus times and it has never rang cliche. The more ground we make here the truer and sharper the cry. In the more than two decades since I came out a lot has definitely changed. Media finally has begun to show my fellow LGBTQIA+ siblings in the tapestry they portray as life. May the celebration of this not go unnoticed, but we still have a ways to go.

I am not satisfied, we have not fully integrated into the creative reflections around us. It is not just the hetero-normative culture of Hollywood, it is in the very portrayals of us in our own media, in the production companies developing our stories, in the editors’ offices choosing our models. I have lived in that starstruck city, I have sat in meetings in that land of illusion, I have fought to sell the idea that I exist.

There is nothing more heartbreaking than an “LGBT” production company foregoing you simply for being you. “You are super funny, but….” “You’re writing is great, however……” I checked the line up that was chosen for public consumption. I didn’t need to be given a memo, the truth was laid out in front of me. I’m not 30, my body isn’t just this side of porn. Sex was chosen over substance, as if I am not a sexual creature.

Before you put me on the shelf and label me bitter, don’t get me wrong. I remember the days when we were nowhere to be seen. I remember the thrill of witnessing a gay character on television, even if just for a second and even if it was a neutered stereotype, just an embodied punchline. I am thrilled that we have come so far, but why should we be satisfied? Especially if in that word lies complacency, settling for just enough.

We all grew up wanting to see ourselves, our stories reflected in the art we consumed. I will not apologize for continuing to fight to see my reflection, to see the rainbow of the men and women in the world around me. It is our innate human desire drawn on cave walls from the dawn of humans to the launch of this very publication, QueerCentric.

We are here to offer a voice to the rest of us. To represent a queer world not so homogenized. We do not want to take away from the version of us that is currently allowed the spotlight, we simply want to add to it. Instead of waiting for permission, we choose to boldly move forward creating our own path. We celebrate all of us, the rest of us! Because there is room for everyone, sometimes you just have to make the room yourself.

So if you have ever felt “othered” in your own community, maybe felt a little left of mainstream, or you have always felt like the odd one out. Don’t get bitter, raise your voice, take your place, stand tall in exactly the person you are. If you look around, you will find an endless sea of people celebrating with you. You will find QueerCentric here, celebrating the rest of us!

2022 Fashion: One Day You’re IN and Then…..Well Read On and be IN All Year

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By Shelby Goatz

I’ve been scouring the internet for a while now to see what was “in” for 2022.

These are my findings:

It’s seeming that what’s “out” is back “in” and what’s “In” – is now “Classic”

  • Leggings are still in – as long as you wear them just as you have been.
  • Skinny jeans are a classic style now, so you can keep wearing them – as though anything else would fit and look damn good on Gen X and Elder Millenial’s ever changing bodies. Boots, flats, heels? They look good with any shoe, definitely the sign of classic clothing.
  • Plaid, prints and solids are in, as well as basically anything 90s. Chain belly belts, anyone?
  • God save us, the low rise jeans are  back. Does that mean my well thought out ‘tramp stamp’ tattoo is back in? As well as ‘whale tails’???
  • Micro jackets are in (they’re just crop jackets, for Pete’s sake). Don’t like micro jackets? You’re in luck – “big, boxy” jackets are still in, as well.
  • 80s sequins and shine is everywhere.
  • So are the big oversized button up shirts. Think Dorothy from The Golden Girls.
  • The Pantone color of the year is periwinkle blue. Very Peri to be exact. It’s a beautiful shade, for sure, but how different is it from the baby blues and pastels we’ve been seeing? 

All I can deduce from what I’ve been seeing for fashion ins and outs for the year is to wear what you want.

 

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