Tunde Olaniran Tells Us Why Pride Is So Important to Them
Pride means many things to LGBTQIA+ communities across the country. From celebrating our identities and our experiences, to self and community affirmations, Pride is a moment to be exactly who we are—and we are Unstoppable Together. It is an expression of liberation, a protest against oppressions, and a remembrance of our queer and trans families, elders, and ancestors.
Most Pride-centric initiatives don’t authentically speak to LGBTQIA+ communities and ignore our lived realities beyond the frame of “coming out” and Pride parades. We believe Pride Powers Our Future, so we’ve teamed up with T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, and Complex to celebrate Pride 3-6-5 with a video series highlighting the voices of LGBTQIA+ changemakers. We are elevating their stories and perspectives beyond June because we’re queer and trans 365 days a year.
Our first changemaker is none other than Tunde Olaniran (he/they), an incandescent, multi-disciplinary artist and activist born and raised in Flint, Michigan, whose powerful, flexible vocals and dazzling lyrics are featured across two full-length albums, multiple EPs, and singles. As a gender nonconforming performer, Olaniran’s perspective and politics have a definitive presence across their art, and like our other changemakers, his view of pride goes beyond assimilation or superficial ideas of representation.
In this intimate, Flint-based feature, Tunde tells us more about what Pride means to them, what queer and trans communities need and want, and how allies can actually support LGBTQIA+ folks.
In Partnership with:
Producer: Hope Harris/Lolaworks
Music: Tomu DJ
Images: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images News), Mark Reinstein (Corbis Historical), Stephen Maturen (Getty Images News), Ringo Chiu (AFP), Bulent Kilic (AFP), Yasuyoshi Chiba (AFP), Wojtek Radwanski (AFP), Tim Boyle (AFP), Alex Wong (Getty Images Editorial Footage), Spencer Platt (Getty Images Editorial Footage)
Performance Footage: Tunde Olaniran, Cranbrook Art Museum and University Musical Society