King Princess Reminded Me to Love My Gayness

A dykon in her own right.

Photo from the Pussy is God music video

What is a dykon, you ask? I'll provide two definitions—the first is from Urban Dictionary, and it states that a dykon is "any celebrity or cultural icon who is popular among lesbians." Yet, UD doesn't state that this person has to be a lesbian, interestingly enough, but when said dykon does identify as a lesbian, she holds even more powers. Enter the second definition—a dykon is, in the simplest of terms, the musician King Princess. I choose to label her as a definition, as she seems to define every aspect of what a dykon truly is. A dyke? Most definitely so. Popular among lesbians? You got it, as told by the swarm of lesbians who made an appearance at her show two nights ago in the cozy venue of 9:30 Club in DC. 

I remember first discovering the artist, who goes by Mikaela Straus IRL, right when her debut EP was released earlier in 2018. I assumed I would give her only one listen and give up as she seemed to be defined as a pop artist whose fanbase consists of teens who love The 1975 and Halsey. Yet, she broke these limits as her irresistible voice in her first song, "Make My Bed," lured me in, both in her musical style and in the singer herself. Was I in love with the music, or did my absurd amount of queer desire for the musician get confused for admiration of her songs? Five more listens and an extremely long IG stalking session later, I realized it was exactly both. Discovering that she's not only very gay, but also loved by every queer woman and resembles my type almost too perfectly, sprouted an immediate obsession. I realized that I had no one like this while figuring out my sexuality, aka a gay musician who sings about queer desire like Julien Baker sings about vulnerability—like any other part of life. Her queer normalization not only was evident in her music, but also her everyday life, as shown by her Instagram: calling herself a "dyke bitch" and "daddy" several times, posting about Alison Bechdel, and wearing gay 'fits like this:

A post shared by miss king (@kingprincess69) on

So, eight months later, I had the privilege of taking this queer desire and making it realized when I saw her in the flesh, where my small crush transformed into a gay obsession. I wished to both be her and be under her, the classic lesbian narrative that seems to be at the center of all of our unattainable crushes. While I sometimes feel this way for other lady musicians (Alana Haim and Angel Olsen being at the top of my list), it was comforting to know that Mikaela was just as gay as the rest of us. And even more powerfully, I wasn't the only one in the audience who felt this way—I was surrounded by a flock of other lesbians and queer women who also held this queer desire, where the crowd unabashedly proclaimed their gayness for the woman throughout her hour-long set. She returned the love, consistently asking, "How are you gays feeling?" and even telling us we impregnated her just due to how much we praised her.

In between every song, her goofy smiles and overtly queer comments made her admiration for her fans more than obvious, where a large percentage of the fans were out and proud queer teens. Even if these 16-year-olds weren't this gay outside of the gay safe zone, as KP calls it, this space fostered this form of self-love, which is so crucial for queer youth that are not yet entirely sure where they fit into our heteronormative society. Many say King Princess is the reason why they feel comfortable in their queer skin at such a young age, and I only wish I had that when growing up. Comparing my experience as a 20-year-old, where I've fortunately been out and vocal about my queerness for years now, to those of the baby gays who populated most of the venue was an almost surreal experience—I realized that this might have been their first time being surrounded by this many other queer people, all joined collectively by their love of her music, their love of the musician herself, and, most importantly, their love of their own gay identities.

Photo from her Instagram

And the music! The! Music! She became even more of a dykon through her performance, playing her old hits that organized everyone in perfect harmony, all belting her very queer lyrics in unison. She begins one of my favorites, "1950," with "I hate it when dudes try to chase me," and a fan immediately yells "me, too!" and she continues to sing, "But I love it when you try to save me 'cause I'm just a lady," implying that "you" is indeed a woman. The crowd sings the full song with her, where we chant the gay love ballad both to her and for ourselves, confirming our queerness with the simplest of lyrics. We sing about pussy together, we dance to new, unreleased tunes together, we feel gay emotions during a new song she tells us to "grab the nearest dyke to slow dance with" for.

While at times it feels that queer messages sometimes give off the typical "love is love" undertone, where queer love is no different than what is deemed normative, or even that the personal is political, King Princess is instead very personal just to show that she really loves being gay and that you should, too. Instead of singing about the oppression of queer lives, she instead sings about how wonderful our lives can be as queer people and that queer love may just be better than its hetero counterpart. She normalizes her queerness in a way where her fans who may be questioning can do the same, making her the queen of Big Dyke Energy.

While I have been vocal in the past about loving my gayness, I, at times, forget to practice this form of self-love, especially when I feel detached from my own identity or feel the conflicting pain of being a lesbian rather than the infinite amount of shameless love. But Mikaela reminded me to love my gayness, to love my gay peers, to embrace my queer desire, and to never modify who I am just for someone's comfort. I'm exuberant that the rest of the crowd could also feel this revelation, especially for those who haven't been able to come to terms with it yet. And maybe that's why King Princess holds so many relentless fans—not just due to how good she looks in a pair of Dickies or her insane amount of musical talent, but because she preaches that being gay is not only okay, but the best way to be. Or, as she tells in a recent interview, "It's not trendy to be gay—it's just everyone has been gay, we been had been gay for so long! And now people are just getting hype to it, and that makes me super happy." Well said, Mikaela. Well said.

Listen to her music here, and watch her videos here.

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