20 Queer Q’s with Author Jason June
20 Queer Q’s with Author Jason June
In this round of 20 Queer Q's, we get to know Jay’s Gay Agenda author Jason June!
The goal of these intimate conversations is to leave you, the reader, feeling like you just gained a new friend, a new perspective, and that you learned something new about or saw a different side of someone — maybe someone that you don’t see online, but someone that’s maybe like you.
In a new round of 20 Queer Q’s, get to know genderqueer author and writer Jason June! Learn about his thoughts on love, who he would invite to dinner, if their younger selves would be proud of themselves today, and more!
Name: Jason June
Preferred Pronouns: He/Him, She/Her
Sexually Identifies As: Gay
What do you love about the LGBTQ+ community?
I love that we don’t have to have the answers right this second about our identities and the queer community allows us to explore ourselves.
Talk about your first queer kiss.
It was with an adorable person named Eddie. I was 17 and it was a long time coming. I had wanted to kiss a guy so much that when we kissed, it felt like fireworks and electric tingles. We were in a parking garage in downtown Spokane, Washington and just feeling like, 'Oh my god, my world is about to become complete.' So magical.
How did you feel attending your first Pride?
I was so overwhelmed in the best way. It was in Seattle and that was my first time being in a major metropolitan city that had thousands of gay people attending one Pride event. I realized that there was a whole smorgasbord of people who are just like me. It was a really magical, rainbow-sparkles-falling-from -the-sky feeling where I wanted to dance, drink, and celebrate.
What does Pride mean to you?
Embracing who we are at this point in time. So every Pride Month can be a different experience for you because you’ve had more life to live and you’ve learned more about yourself and others. But every June we just take stock of our hearts and recognize how far we’ve come in our self-acceptance and celebrate that, celebrating the journey that’s still to come, and keeping that door open to discover more facets of ourselves as life goes on.
Who is someone you consider to be an LGBTQ+ icon?
Candis Cayne. She was the first trans actress to have a regular role on network television and she’s been such a huge influence in terms of embracing who I am in an artistic way. I take so much inspiration from her about putting your heart into your work and sharing the different aspects of my experience.
What advice do you have for LGBTQ+ youth?
To really stick with it. If you’re in a situation where it’s not safe to come out or you’re not accepted by your community, it can be so hard and feel so alone. But there will come a time where you get to take the reins of your own life. You get to choose where you live, your family, who’s around you, and it truly does get better and you will have the most magical times of your life.
Do you believe in love?
Absolutely, 100 percent. I don’t believe in one true love, but I do believe that you can have a partner if you know you want to be in a partnered relationship. Love exists, and it is hard work, but it is the most rewarding hard work ever. It’s the best thing ever to share everything about yourself with another person from your absolute best qualities that can compliment them and help boost them up, to your absolute worst qualities that can bring them down and they need to help boost you up from that. To be able to be that vulnerable with another person, to truly have a person that will have your back through anything and will weather any storm with you is an incredible experience.
Describe what being queer is like in 3-5 words.
Magical. Subversive. Verbose. Connective.
What is the title of the current chapter of your life?
"Lady Lets Loose"
What is the most awkward thing about you?
Not one iota of my personhood is cool. So when I interact with people who I perceive as cool, I’m instantly intimidated and become this very gay muppet.
What is a quality you find sexy?
Determination. Knowing that it’s not going to be easy and going for it anyway and not allowing setbacks or mistakes you’ve made dissuade you from your ultimate goal.
Did you ever/do you still feel uncomfortable holding someone else’s hand in public?
Sometimes, yes, it depends where we’re at. There are certain areas that I’m totally okay with and don’t need to think about where I’m at. But then there are other areas where I think, "Oh I’m not gonna hold my husband's hand here." Here’s the hard part about this, because I walk into a room and people are like, "That is a queer person." I am a feminine presenting, biological male and people are instantly thinking that I have a penis but am wearing what they consider women's clothes. So I just have to gauge where it’s safe to even lean further into that and hold my husband's hand.
Fill in the blank: In 5 years I want to _________.
Be a bestseller.
What does self-love look like?
Constantly gauging where you’re at and giving yourself the time to analyze your feelings, emotions, where you’re at in the world, where you’re at with your goals in your life, and making a plan to make your life how you want it to be. It’s also giving yourself the grace to know it’s okay if you’re not where you want to be right at this moment in time. There is no right way to be you other than constantly just trying to improve yourself in whatever way you can even if that’s in baby steps or if it’s in times where you’re going backwards a bit, but giving yourself space to recalibrate is okay. Self-love is taking stock of that and never shaming yourself for whatever moment you’re in right now and knowing you always have the next minute, hour, day to get to where you want to be and that is your journey.
What does an ideal night for you look like?
Around 4pm, getting my hair and makeup done and that whole process of getting ready is very therapeutic for me. Then hopping off somewhere to have a fabulous dinner in a metropolitan restaurant with great food, great service, and great friends where we’re talking and laughing. Dinner ends up lasting all night and we don’t realize it and we don’t want it to end yet and we have one more drink at a lounge where we have great conversations, a great time and we don’t take for granted each other's company.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I love the old adage of "be prolific, not perfect."
Christmas is tied with Valentine's Day. I think both holidays get a bad rep for being too commercialized and materialistic, but I could go on and on about how it’s needed, and in this go-go world, a mass holiday where people are reminded to tell people you love that you love them, whether that’s romantic love or not, I think is so important because it’s easy for us to take for granted what’s in front of us every day.
How would you like to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as someone who tried to find the reasons to keep getting up every day and the reasons to make other people's lives a better, happier place for them, as a person who tries to see what makes other people happy and bring that to them.
Pick two people to invite to dinner. Who would you invite?
In any situation like this, if I had more than two people to invite, I would always invite The Jennifers. Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Lawrence. But if I HAD to pick two, it would be Jennifer Garner and Jennifer Lopez.
Are you the person you thought you’d grow up to be? Do you think younger you would be proud of older you?
Younger me would be ecstatic about the person I am today and I’m not the person I am today that I thought I would be when I was younger. I never thought about what life would be like over 30 because I couldn’t fathom getting there. I’ve never seen people who I identified with thriving at an older age. My younger self had no idea of what I could be like now, but if I did see me now, I think they would be so happy that I figured out the missing pieces of myself.