Since the days of queer yore, girl bands have occupied a special shelf in the hearts of the LGBT+ community.
But groups of girls have that certain ‘voulez vous couchez avec moi’ – we thrive on.
My first ever cassette single was ‘Power of a Woman’ by Eternal, my first gig their subsequent tour date at Wembley Arena.
An addiction to tight, soulful harmonies had begun, thankfully in an era which saw the debut of Destiny’s Child, alongside the dominance of TLC and All Saints, masterfully supported by some absolute bops from SWV and The Braxtons.
I can marry various significant moments of my childhood to the girl gang juggernauts who inspired me.
Willing my Mum to buy me the Mel B Impulse spray in Boots. And of course, perfecting my Irish jig to B*witched’s ‘C’est La Vie.’
Not forgetting the arguing with friends over the best iteration of the Sugababes – it has to include Mutya, for the record.
Thank goodness for Little Mix
Which brings me to present day and the emergence of the iconic Little Mix.
Right from the pivotal moment of Jesy’s Twitter trolling in their series of X Factor, followed closely by their barnstorming rendition of En Vogue’s ‘Don’t Let Go’, it was clear to see the girls had all the tools to build on the success of their predecessors.
7 years on, this is the group behind the anthemic ‘Secret Love Song’ that a gay couple got engaged to on stage during a recent performance; ‘why can’t I hold you on the street, why can’t I kiss you on the dance floor?’ – a song which, when performed on their recent tour, was preceded by a speech about the importance of LGBT+ inclusivity and diversity.
Jade Thirlwall is a huge cheerleader for our community.
When not found at G-A-Y on a Thursday night for Porn Idol, she’s stealing the AAA Girls away to star in the music video for ‘Power’, or attending an awards ceremony for young LGBT+ activists at Stonewall HQ.
And I’ve barely scratched the surface of Perrie’s dignity and poise in the wake of Zayn’s cruel breakup, Leigh-Ann’s burgeoning reputation as a fashionista and, lest we ever forget Jesy’s Jamaican accent. Ballegdeh indeed.
Jade has since confirmed that the upcoming Little Mix album will feature another LGBT+ anthem.
Turning to pop music, when I didn’t fit in growing up.
Like a lot of LGBT+ people, I didn’t fit in when I was younger.
Maybe it was the bowl haircut, or the devotion to EastEnders, or the Mel B Impulse spray. Whatever it was, I ultimately found solace in these groups
Whilst I maybe didn’t fully recognize it at the time, the overriding sense of strength in numbers, the pride in raising each other up spoke to me. And those voices let me fly, if just for 3 minutes at a time.
Unfortunately, we now live in a time relatively devoid of girl bands.
But Little Mix? Well, no one expected anything of them on the talent show, other than to go the way of Hope (yas tall queen) or the beautifully named Girlband.
Yet here they are 7 years down the line, still fighting to be respected for their vocals, songwriting, and production (yes, check those credits), and their showmanship.
Oh, and dealing with slut-shaming at every Daily Mail opportunity. Jesy, you wear that bodysuit, we are all here for your curves and swerves.
So it only seems right, in the midst of Pride month, that I pay tribute to the familial females of past and present with an alternative night.
Drag vocal girl group Stephanie’s Child will be appearing at The Two Brewers on Friday 6th July. I’m combining 2 of my loves on one night, and I’m okay with that.
You may have seen the girls – Jan Sport, Lagoona Bloo and Rosè – on The Voice USA, singing Bang Bang with Chris Weaver and Jessie J.