“You are beautiful and you are valid.”
Part punk, part pop, Queen Zee cite both The Kinks and Iggy Pop as influences. Ahead of Liverpool Pride, we chatted to singer and transgender activist Zee Davine to find out what support is out there for LGBTQ+ youths.
What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?
I’m listening to Starcrawler, Skeggs, Hockey Dad, Zuzu, Surfbort and Amyl and the Sniffers. I’m not reading anything and I’ve just finished watching all three Back to the Future films.
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
I’d say it was probably figuring out my mental health, and learning to tour with it. I love performing, it just lives inside me. So being unable to tour was destroying me, and it was a vicious cycle. I started taking medication and had a few intense therapy sessions as well as making a few changes to how we do things when touring and I’ve had a rad couple of months in good health getting out and doing shows.
What have you learned about yourself over the past five or so years?
Lots. Five years ago I wasn’t doing Queen Zee, I wasn’t out, I wasn’t dealing with my mental health and I was living in China. I was almost a totally different person, I think the most positive thing that’s happened is my boost in confidence and self worth. I feel a lot more secure and happy in my identity than I did.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
Probably just hitting the beach on a sunny day and doing very little.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
My bizarre life itself, I don’t under estimate it and I do my best to live it impulsively.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
Staying rational and calm. It’s easy for me to go into panic mode, I do it less and less since I started medicating. But being able to deal with situations calm and rationally makes my life so much easier. Which in turn leaves me less to panic about.
What do you eat to stay healthy?
Fruit, mix it up. Berries, Melon, Mango, Pineapple. British people are so guilty of only eating apples, bananas and oranges. Mix it up.
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
I have a running route that pretty much stays the same, but when it comes to working out I just work on whatever doesn’t ache from the day before! I don’t work out to get jacked, it’s just about keeping fit for the stage show.
Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?
My favourite childhood memory is getting picked to be the singer in The Cure in our schools Year 6 version of Live Eight, at the point I decided to make a band.
What three songs lift your spirits?
Wearing My Rolex by Wiley
Heart Attack American by The Bronx
Wipe Out by The Surfaris.
What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?
Existence over Essence and what the existentialist philosophers like Satre where writing about. What you do with your life is more important than the circumstances you were born into. You’re free even if you don’t feel it.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
Time heals everything and sometimes you just need to say. Oh well.
You identify as transgender and bisexual – do you think there is enough support for LBTQ+ youths? What is out there? What advice would you give to young people trying to navigate their identity?
Charities such as Action for Trans Health and Mermaids do as much as they can. As well as just local mental health charities without gender specific branches, you can also talk to a doctor or GP, some local areas have specialists. However as you can imagine these resources are limited. What we really need is a better and more inclusive; 1. Health service (which through no fault of its own is under funded) 2. Mental health service, which has limited resources for LGBTQ+ people and 3. Support networks while waiting to access these networks. My advice for all people is this, don’t even water yourself down. You are beautiful and you are valid. You can be yourself no matter what that is just be honest with yourself. Even though it might feel like you can’t be at times, trust me that it is better to live a life true to yourself than to keep it inside. As LGBTQ+ people we build our own families and you will be welcomed.