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Jordan Kristine Seamón: ‘I’m Happy Young Queer People Don’t Have To Go Through What I Did’

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It may come as a surprise to those who watched We Are Who We Are in 2020, but the show was actually teen actor Jordan Kristine Seamón’s first major acting role.

Jordan won widespread praise for her performance as Caitlyn – a character she later said inspired her to explore her own gender identity – holding her own against the likes of Chloë Sevigny, Kid Cudi and even her frequent scene partner Jack Dylan Grazer, who already had a number of big-screen credits to his name when filming began.

But as well as being a talented star on the rise in the acting world, the 18-year-old is also a budding musician, releasing her material for fans over her YouTube channel.

For our Over The Rainbow series, we spoke to Jordan about how We Are Who We Are gave her the Pride experience she’s still yet to have, and the joy she feels at being part of a new wave of queer Black talent making waves in the entertainment industry.

What is your favourite Pride memory?

I came out when I was 16, and immediately afterwards I booked We Are Who We Are, and then Covid hit. So I’m so devastated, that I’ve never had the chance to go to Pride.

I am going to hang out with some friends at the end of this month, like a little get together of around 10 people. A small Pride. We’re all going to just chill and be gay and be happy.

And I had a bunch of fun [filming in Italy]. It really helped being on a show that was generally just so queer, and having a lot of fellow actors that were really open and honest about their experiences and their sexualities and everything. I felt really, really loved and accepted on set – and I learned so much about myself during the shooting process. Even though I didn’t get to go to Pride I’m glad I still got to have the experience of We Are Who We Are.

Hopefully, with things slowly opening up and happening I’ll be able to go to Pride next year. And next year, I’m going to go insane. People aren’t going to recognise me at all, I’m going to be crazy, it’s going to be a blast.

BBC

Jordan Kristine Seamón and Jack Dylan Grazer in We Are Who We Are

Who is your LGBTQ hero?

Clearly I love and respect and am so grateful for the icons that paved the way for my generation and generations coming up like Marsha P Johnson, James Baldwin and Gilbert Baker.

But a lot of the more recent people that I look up to now, especially people in the industry, would be Lena Waithe, Laverne Cox, Billy Porter, Indya Moore, Hunter Schafer… I have a whole list.

Of those people I just mentioned, I think Indya Moore is – well, first of all, really beautiful – but they’re also really, really talented and their work ethic is just so impressive. And they really stand for a lot of good things. I really, really appreciate everything they do within the community, and how inspiring they are, and all of the work that they do.

Sadly, when I was growing up, I didn’t have that many people that I felt I could look up to in the LGBTQ+ community that looked similar to me. So it makes me really happy to see so many other actors coming out and being open and being themselves, so a lot of younger people can see that and grow up with that, and have a gay icon or LGBTQ+ hero in their lives. 

Jamie McCarthy via Getty Images

Indya Moore

What is your go-to Pride anthem?

Younger Jordan would say Girls Like Girls by Hayley Kiyoko. Jordan now would probably say We Fell In Love In October by Girl In Red.

Girl In Red has become such a trailblazing [figure] for, like, the lesbian, women-loving-women community. Now it’s, like, a thing – if you want to know if someone is… you just ask them, “do you listen to Girl In Red?”. And that’s not something that I had when I was younger.

We Fell In Love In October is so catchy and so cute. I’m so happy to have a young, gay female artist out there creating music for these young people to listen to and fall in love to.

 

What is your favourite LGBTQ film?

One of my new favourites is The Boys In The Band. I just watched that on NetflixThe storyline was so interesting and I loved how it just stayed solely in one place, for almost the entire movie. I don’t know when they shot it – but I feel like I could really relate to that, given the pandemic and how we were all cooped up inside and everything.

I loved that you saw the ups and downs in the relationships that each and every one of them deals with, and how you just see the dynamic between all of them. It was so beautiful and moving, and I feel it really shone a light onto some of the sadder history that a lot of people don’t understand within the LGBTQ+ community. We know about it, but when you see a story and you see the more personal side of the story, it really makes you appreciate and be thankful for the people that paved the way for you to just be out and proud and be happy and have Pride and all those other things. These people did that for you.

And that movie made me cry, I was in tears by the end of it. It was so beautiful. 

Scott Everett White/NETFLIX

The Boys In The Band is available to stream on Netflix

What was an LGBTQ TV show or TV moment that made you feel represented?

There wasn’t a lot for me, growing up. I mean, there were queer TV shows around, little bits here and there, but there wasn’t a lot that made me personally feel represented. I didn’t see a lot of young, gay Black females, that just wasn’t something that was on my radar. And unfortunately, it wasn’t a big thing within the industry, so it wasn’t talked about.

I would say the earliest thing that I remember that made me feel represented would probably be Naya Rivera’s character in Glee, Santana Lopez. That character was the love of my life when I was younger, but also, I think that was one of the first times I’d seen a woman of colour that was also queer.

It’s such a shame that it took that long, and that it was one of the first and only experiences I can think of that really represented me. But I’m happy that I had it, and I’m thankful for Naya, that she was able to bring such life to the character. And wherever she is, I hope she knows that she helped a lot of young gay girls understand and love themselves a little bit more by being such an iconic and amazing character.

But I’m happy now that there are a lot more characters that other young queer people can see and resonate with. They’re not going to have to go through the same thing as me trying to find a single character to represent them.

FOX via Getty Images

Naya Rivera as Santana in Glee

Who would be your ultimate queer icon?

Definitely Freddie Mercury. I love him so much. So talented, so effortlessly amazing. I’m a diehard fan. He’s like the ultimate queer icon in my eyes. When I think “icon”, I think Freddie.

I became a fan when I first started studying music in school. Around seventh grade is when I finally got a music teacher that introduced us to all different genres, and that led me to Queen. The college I’m hoping that I go to is actually the college that he went to, the London School Of Music.

I just think he was so cool, and I just wish I could have had two minutes to talk to him, because he seems like he was such an amazing person.

And being a musician as well, I understand that it’s already difficult to make music in general, but to add on top of that being queer and, for me, being Black – there’s a lot of fear that comes with just being a creative in general, and I respect how he handled it and just the vibe that he gave of: “This is who I am, and if you don’t like it, screw you.” I like that a lot, and I want that.

Suzie Gibbons via Getty Images

Freddie Mercury performing in 1986

What is your message for young LGBTQ people this Pride month?

I have so many things I would want to say to them. I just want them to be happy and safe!

Whether you’re a baby gay who’s just come out, you’ve been out for a long time or you’re still trying to figure yourself out, just know that you’re valid and you’re loved, and you’re good enough. And that you’ll be OK!

I know times might seem tough, things are all over the place, and you might feel like it might not be worth it, but I promise you, in the end, everything will be good.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Jordan Kristine Seamón’s album Identity Crisis is out now to download and stream. Listen to the track Good & Bad below:




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