NYC Trap music artist reflects on Queer Kentucky roots

What does the word queer mean to you? How do you identify?

The word queer means to me any form.

To be honest I just found out about what the word queer meant when I moved to NYC, to me I associate the word queer with anything that has to do with being gay and extra. Identify as lesbian female.

Why? Or why don’t you identify as anything at all?

I identity as lesbian because I only like females but I don’t really care too much for labels because I feel like they do more dividing than bringing people together. There are too many labels out there to keep up with when we are all the human race.

Where are you originally from and explain how was it growing up/living in Kentucky?

I am a pretty random mixed. I was born in Elizabethtown, Kentucky (so was my father) but my mother is from Cali Colombia. Ever since my baby years I have been raised in Louisville. Growing up for me in Kentucky was both good because its a part of who I am but I also struggled finding my place and people who really accepted me due to me being a mixed girl and getting “found out” instead of coming out when I was just in 7th grade. Some nights I would even get threatened by men because I’m a lesbian. That died down once I learned how to defend myself.

What would you say to any person struggling to come into their own identity?

I would say live for yourself because we tend to waste so much time trying to conform to society and what other people want that we forget what we really want to do and we only have one life. Once you own your shit to the fullest, cant nobody make you feel ashamed of it!

Find people who are living their truth and surround yourself around good loving people you aspire to be so even when times are tough you will never feel alone.

How does your own identity run how you carry yourself? Or does it?

My identity ties into apart of who I am — they go hand and hand. Especially the gay part of me. I can be very extra and I like everything over the top like a Beyoncé performance! I also tend to be very careful of who I do business with because if someone can’t respect my race or my sexuality I don’t need to be working with them, that’s what I call bad business.

What issues do you see in the queer community?

I honestly see a lot of colorism issues in the LGBTQ community, the community tends to be owned by white people and controlled even though people of color are the ones who started the gay rights stonewall movement. And it tends to be mostly gay white men who treat other black and brown people poorly in our communities. A lot of our LBGTQ night life places will only cater to more of the white side of entertainment and us black and brown people tend to feel left out…like we don’t belong

What do you think would solve those issues?

What I think will help these issues is more education to our white brothers and sisters to change their way of viewing and treating anybody else who is a different race than they are. I also think more opportunities and platforms should be provided to people of color I always say o there isn’t a way then make one! & if we see a situation that seems unfair, racist, or prejudice we ALL need to speak up!

Do you feel excluded from the “mainstream” queer community? Why or why not?

At times I could feel excluded because I am Hispanic/indigenous female who makes trap music but I usually don’t run into that many problems because I tend to “sell” or “grow” on people with my personality that people love.

If anything, I tend to feel excluded from the actual “mainstream” music community because I refuse to act and pose as a super hypersexualized female who likes men. I make music that is true to myself and that’s the only thing I know how to do is keep it real.

Where do you feel “at your best” (safe, happy, fabulous, comfortable, etc.) Who influenced the life you live now?

Personally I feel at my best when I am at gay pride (which I encourage everybody to go to) events because I feel so happy to see other LGBTQ people come out and celebrate who they are along with our gay allies the month of June just hits a lil different if you know what I’m sayin.

But in the real world I don’t feel as safe because our president is homophobic and half of our government is as well so even though I know I got my back I know my government doesn’t.

The people who influenced me to be myself are Ivy Queen because she was one of the FIRST Hispanic female rappers who was considered a “stem” with her tom boy style and don’t care attitude I always wanted to be just like her as a child. I also really love RuPual when I discovered RuPuals drag race it blew my mind away at so much talent in our community and with every episode I watched it made me feel more and more proud and safe to be gay.

More on Ladrea Maria- What you can expect for Ladrea Maria in the future is my upcoming EP that is currently in the making, this will be my first solo project that reflects who I am as an artist and our beautiful city the 502 I wanna show off all the raw talent we have here and put us on the map! I want to do more live performances to get in touch with more of my supporters on a more personal level & of course my voice will be on more Maybelline commercials, ya girl is securing all the bags because I deserve it. And you can follow me on Instagram- @ladrea_mariaa and on Snapchat- @ladreaa_mariaa for all my music updates

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