Hollywood's four renowned singers and songwriters opened up about their unique role as LGBTQ members of the music industry at the Billboard & The Hollywood Reporter's Pride Summit on Thursday.
Singers Justin Tranter, Shane McAnally, Teddy Geiger, and Victoria Monet sat down with Billboard's senior editor Joe Lynch, who asked the panelists about how being part of the community has impacted their songwriting. "My queer experience informs everything that I do," said Tranter.
"Every single lyric I suggest comes from my queer experience because that's exactly who I am," he continued.
"We all want to relate to the underdog story...The queer superpower is understanding the underdog story more than anyone."
Victoria, who contributed to Ariana Grande's chart-toppers 'thank u, next' and '7 Rings,' mirrored that thought, providing some much-needed representation for black bisexual women. "I'm representing fem energy as a bisexual black female."
"I was secretly writing about women for so long," she continued. "And now I feel like I can write for a guy who is straight and I feel like I can openly write better for males because I've experienced women too," Victoria added.
On the issue of reactions to their LGBTQ identity, Shawn Mendes hit-writer Teddy was "entirely surprised by the support" following her opening up and coming out as transgender on Instagram.
"I was so scared for so long as to what that would mean and everyone was fine," she explained. "What is linking LGBTQ because we're all so different? I think its the ability to hide, and to make the choice to be visible."
"I think [coming out] changes how I interact with this world and I don't feel like I have this big secret shadowed with this black cloud of shame," she concluded.
McAnally, who had an encounter with the unique situation of being an LGBTQ member of the country community, expressed her guilt over not speaking up sooner after hearing some questionable expressions in several sessions before.
"I'm glad I'm on the other side. People have come up to me and apologized, and I think that takes a lot of courage," he explained.
"Nashville, it's a different world there. I've been surprised over and over and over. The main thing that surprises me is that a lot of country artists come from a religious background, and some people being able to separate in their minds that those two things don't always go together--I'm really proud," he added.
( With inputs from ANI )