Global Pride 2020: The future is…Heaps Gay
SoundCloud provides a platform for anyone, anywhere to express themselves freely and connect with like-minded creatives. Throughout Pride Month we’ll be sharing the stories of global collectives who are building networks in the name of inclusivity, while giving you ways to support their missions and create your own communities.
The future is Heaps Gay
When Kat Dopper was growing up in rural Australia, the phrase “that’s so gay” was a common put down. So to her, naming her widely known queer collective, Heaps Gay, wasn’t just an act of defiance. “The name is a mockery,” she tells us, “but also a reclaiming of the term for the queer community.” Heaps Gay started in 2013, when Kat, back home after a self-exploratory stint in the UK, realized Australia needed more spaces for queer artists. “We started Heaps Gay in a rundown pub in Redfern Sydney,” she reminisces.
“[Our] aim was to create an inclusive hedonistic house party where everyone was welcome.”
To say Kat and her friends were successful, would be an understatement. In just seven years, Heaps Gay has gone from hosting parties to becoming a cultural force in Australia. The squad has organized a range of events from street festivals to festival stages. And though they have multiple “Best Music Event” awards under their belt, they’ve never deviated from their mission: to spread inclusivity through art.
Pride amid the crisis
For now, COVID-19 may have be keeping Heaps Gay out of the clubs, but it’s not hampering their support for Australia’s queer community. Recently, the collective launched Lound n Queer TV, a two-hour music show livestreamed on Facebook. The series was designed to help amplify the voices of talented young queer musicians while keeping the community connected through the pandemic.
While Kat waits for the pandemic to pass, she maintains a hopeful vision of the future and urges everyone to keep looking for ways to back each other up.
“Our community is resilient but it’s such a hard time for so many queer artists and performers. We need to keep supporting each other until we can meet on the dance floor.”
The future is you, too
To all those hoping to walk in Heaps Gay’s footsteps, Kat believes that focus is the most important factor. “I never intended to create a business” she shares. “If you stay true to your passion and what you want, whatever you do will be authentic and it will work.” And when it comes to naming your collective she adds, “Don’t overthink it, usually your first choice is best.”
Local artists to support
Our queer scene is thriving, and there are so many sub cultures within it. Mani Blu supported Dorian Electra when they were here recently. They’re in the early stages of their career but have internet pop vibes with potential.
Lupa J infuses violin with techno. Marcus Whale (of collarbones) is reinventing himself with an experimental soulful electronica that you’ll really wanna listen to.
The queer hip-hop scene is thriving with the likes of Okenyo, Jesswar, Miss Blacks & JamazOnMars.
Check out music producers Oh Boy, Corin, Sophie Forrest & Flowerboy.
Whiskey Houston is one of my fav disco DJ’s plays all on vinyl. Other DJ’s to listen to are Kilimi who is embedded in the vogue scene in Sydney & Hip Hoe Hoe & DJ Charlie Villas.
Finally, it would be rude not to mention some of my fav musical artists Kira Puru, Mojo Juju & Electric Fields & Habits all with uniqueness and insane talent.