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How 'Friday' Prepared Rebecca Black to Come Out & Face the World

How 'Friday' Prepared Rebecca Black to Come Out & Face the World

How 'Friday' Prepared Rebecca Black to Come Out & Face the World

The viral singer talks to PRIDE's Taylor Henderson about her journey, coming out, and making new music.

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Rebecca Black is all grown up.

The singer, who went viral at the age of 13 with the iconic "Friday" music video, is now 22 years old and earlier this month, she casually came out as queer on her best friend's podcast.  

"My sexuality and the choice to come out was something I thought about for, obviously, a long time, as any queer person does," she tells PRIDE. "I had made a choice when I had decided not to necessarily come out over the past few months, but to just stop really being so afraid of answering the question. It just happened naturally."

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For Black, her sexuality was "a question that I always asked myself" growing up. "I remember watching certain shows of growing up and always wondering, but I just had never quite given myself any evidence that it was true. I never gave myself the option, really. And to be honest, I was so enamored by specific people growing up, especially through my teens, that I didn't really come into myself in my own romantic and sexual life until I was, not that this isn't late, really, but it wasn't until I was 18 or 19."

"20 was when I started really understanding that there was something more that I was attracted to and I was lucky to be surrounded by a group of people that made it really, really easy to express," she said, revealing how a supportive group of LGBTQIA+ friends allowed her to explore her identity. "I just never really thought that I would be a part of it until I was."

But dealing with the hate, death threats, and infamy "Friday" gave her while grappling with the typical self-image issues of your teenage years wasn't easy for Black. 

"I was so uncomfortable with myself for so long, just in general, growing up as a teenager," she said. "I always felt like I was a bit of an outcast just because of my relationship with my body. And obviously, this experience I had with 'Friday' kind of inhibited myself on all fronts. As I started to process all of that, dating became much easier and understanding my sexuality also became much easier. I was in a community that was so accepting."

How did she overcome that self-doubt?

"I just tried to be kind to myself. I have done a lot of work to try to reflect on what that meant for me, emotionally, as a kid going through that and going through having so many people having so many opinions about you from such a young age. It's tough, it'd be tough for anybody. So just trying to be much more forgiving, I think, has helped make it a lot easier."

"Being more honest with the way that it affects me just makes it better. People resonate with that so much more. For so long I felt like I had to say, I'm great, I'm fine, I'm doing so well right now. But nobody relates to that because how many people are actually doing well? We're all struggling. As soon as you start being honest with that, people are like 'Oh yeah, I feel that.' And that was shocking to me but it's made things so much easier."

Black has built quite the platform for herself in the nine years since "Friday." With nearly 1 million Instagram followers and 1.5 million YouTube subscribers, Black regularly uploads vlogs, new songs, and music videos to interact with her fans. She's worked with producers like Crash Cove, Nathaniel Motte, and even Billie Eilish's brother, Grammy winner Finneas.

At the time she recorded her 2018 track "Satellite" with Finneas, Black says she was familiar with Billie's song "Ocean Eyes."

"Finneas and I had met through a mutual contact," she recalls. "Somebody recommended that I meet him and write with him. We were both very early on in our careers. I don't even think I realized that they were brother and sister until I got to their house and I was like, wait, what? They, they are really tight-knit, a really special relationship."

"These last couple of years have been so important for me, musically, to develop. I've spent so much time working with such incredible people who have taught me a lot."

Black isn't ready to put out her debut album just yet, but she's not ruling out the possibility in the near future. 

"I have just been releasing music over the past year, a little bit over a year," she says. "At first, it was specifically not an album. I think because I had put so much pressure on myself as an artist to make my first album the best thing in the world. And just like there's not a right time to really come out, I don't think there will ever be a time where I'll be like yep, this is perfect. I hope. I hope so. But I'm just constantly learning."

"I do feel much closer to something like an album or a series of EPs or one EP. No decisions have been made yet, really, but there's definitely enough material for whatever I decide to do."

And for people that only know her name because of "Friday," Rebecca Black is happy to get you up to speed. 

"I would tell them that now I've got more for them to look at. Listen to the music, and make your own opinions on whether you like them or not, based off the fact that now I'm someone who's been doing this for, ohmygod, nine years," she laughs. "I'm a much different artist than somebody who's 13 and singing their first song that they have no idea is going to be viewed by that many people. It's a different person, or the same person, but different."

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!