The representation and celebration of lesbian and queer women in the Australian media landscape has historically been few and far between.
For 26-year-old musician and singer-songwriter G Flip, the absence of queer women’s voices in the music industry contributed to a deafening silence – one that she is stoked to be changing.
“Growing up there really wasn’t any lesbian representation,” the Melbourne-based artist, born Georgia Flipo, told The New Daily.
“I think that definitely prolonged me coming out. I feel like if I had role models to look up to, or if I heard female pronouns in songs, it would’ve just normalised it,” she said.
Of course, queer female artists have always existed, but increasingly, they are pushing their way into the mainstream and ensuring their voices are being heard.
G Flip is a testament to that. Having just played the Australian Open, she is now gearing up to perform at the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on March 6.
Occupying the throne on the TikTok float (which, like everything in the Mardi Gras world, promises exuberance, vibrance and high energy), G will be performing a Touch Sensitive remix of her ode to powerful women, Queen.
As with every notable social event since the pandemic, Mardi Gras will look a little different in 2021.
This year, the customary processional of loud, theatrical floats parading down Oxford street have been re-homed to the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), but headliners are taking it in their stride.
“People will be in the stadium, COVID-safe, and the floats will be going around the grounds,” G said.
“It’s going to be different, but then again I’m so excited because I’ve never played in the SCG before, so that’ll blow my mind. But I think the vibe of Mardi Gras will still be there no matter where it’s held.”
Coming out on top
While there is still a long way to go in terms of the way we engage with queerness (just ask our queer personalities), we have still made decent headway in the 43 years since Mardi Gras came to Sydney.
Coming of age at a conservative Catholic high school, G said she remembers a cloak of negativity surrounding the concept of coming out.
I think I knew very early that I liked girls but it was my little secret that I had to try and accept within myself.
“I always had voices within my head telling me, ‘No you’re not, no you’re not, you don’t have a crush on this person, you like boys’,” she said.
“I went to an all-girls’ Catholic high school, and I remember in Year Seven there was a girl that came out in year 12, and everyone would point at her and be like, ‘Oh she’s the gay chick’, and instantly, that made the voices in my head harsher.
“I had my little boyfriends throughout high school … but it’s funny, all the girls that did come out, no one came out in school, we all came out after high school.”
Returning to her school a decade later, the social change is obvious.
That girls were sporting rainbow pins on their blazers and speaking confidently and in front of their cohort about their girlfriends. It was enough to make G “almost tear up”.
“When I was in high school, you wouldn’t say that,” she recalled.
Nowadays, there are so many queer artists like myself, Alex Lahey, Alex the Astronaut, Maya … using female pronouns and just telling their life stories and love stories, and it’s so good for the youth.”
G Flip receives “lots of messages” from queer youth saying that hearing her music has boosted their self esteem and confidence to come out.
“That’s so lovely to hear because for [older generations], we never had that growing up,” she said.
“So now that we’re so out there on the radio and on TV and in the media and same-sex relationships are put in front of our eyes, it’s so good –
and so needed.”
You can catch G Flip’s performance from the TikTok float on the main stage at the Mardi Gras parade on March 6, by tuning into @gflipmusic on TikTok.
G Flip will also perform TikTok Live Mardi Gras event on March 3, which will be streamed on @TikTok_Australia.