Guest Blog X Paytra

What does pride mean to me? Pride means being unapologetically YOU, and owning it. June is pride month, and it’s a time for us to celebrate each other and what makes us unique. The LGBTQ+ community is such a beautiful, inspiring and bold group of individuals, and nothing makes me happier than being able to show my support through what I love: music.


Let's rewind for a minute…


I grew up in a small town in Michigan, and music has always been in my life. My mom was a 90s Hip Hop/R&B fein, and my dad was in a rock band. I’d always watch my dad practice, and when I wasn’t, I was jamming to Biggie or TLC with my mom. Eventually, my dad took in an old, upright piano that someone was getting rid of. I think he taught me “Let It Be” by the Beetles within a week or so? I was always a shy, self-conscious kid that couldn’t quite figure out what I was good at. I learned piano, but was way too nervous to sing in front of people until my sixth grade talent show. I pretty much bombed the talent show- but at that moment, I realized that my dream was to be an artist.


I moved to NYC at age sixteen alone without a single clue how difficult that would be. It was here that I learned to be brave and courageous in what I love. I had to learn who I was, and what I stood for. It was a rough few years building enough confidence to compete against some of the most talented people in the world. I was told I couldn’t do it a million and one times. I realize now that you should never shy away from who you are and what you’ve set out to do because regardless of what anyone thinks of you, you are enough and you CAN do it.


Pride means being unapologetically YOU, and owning it.


I recently performed at Motor City Pride in Detroit, and it was my first show on this pride tour. From the moment I walked in, the energy was different than any other show. First of all, everyone was SLAYING the sparkles and rainbows (so obviously I loved it). My dancers and I were rocking Brooklyn Cloth’s Pride collection, so you know we were decked out head to toe! The real difference from this show from any other, was that everyone there was celebrating the same thing: love. We were all there because we know that love has no boundaries, and that was beautiful. I was able to bring my little sister backstage with me, and it was cool to see her experience such a beautiful thing.


The audience was LOUD. They were gracious and they showed no judgement. They danced along with me and screamed out lyrics. They were SHAMELESS. They welcomed me with open arms. As a performer, that means so much to me and gives me so much emotion onstage. The whole reason I do what I do is to connect with people, so seeing everyone dancing and showing love for one another meant the world to me. Plus, I could use my voice to show my respect and support for everything that pride stands for.


I will forever and always have a special place in my heart for pride month shows- and I cannot wait to perform at the World Pride after party June 27th at Bowery Electric this year. We are all unique individuals, and everyone deserves to be loved for who they are. Thank you to Brooklyn Cloth for such a fantastic collection, and happy pride month to everyone.

Xoxo Paytra


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