(EDITOR’S NOTE: “This Is Pride” is a series of profiles and portraits of Staten Islanders who have made history as part of the district’s LGBTQ + pride movement and prominent community members. If you have someone you would like to nominate for “This is Pride “, send an email with their name and a short appointment to [email protected].)
STATEN ISLAND, NY – After moving from Brooklyn to Staten Island in 2018, Emil Troy, 22, said it kicked off their music career and caused “an explosive change” in their lives.
Troy, a hip hop artist who uses their / they pronouns, has worked with various musicians, including Agent Blurr, iNTeLL, BMC Smoove. And more recently, Troy found their own backing track at Blurred Noize Studios, allowing them to “make music and express themselves in the ways they really want”.
As part of The Staten Island Advance / SILive.com’s “This Is Pride” series, we asked Troy for their views on the following questions:
What does it mean to be an LGBTQ + Staten Islander?
“After I moved to Staten Island four years ago, it was quite interesting trying to find a group of homosexual friends. When I first moved here I started dating another non-binary person on the island which helped me a lot to feel comfortable being queer in this new space, and in a space where it has been quite hard for me to find a poc [people of color] LGBT community. I realized that being LGBTQ + on this island often means being a symbolic homosexual friend in a more heterosexual space. “
What does pride mean to you?
“Pride is really important to me. Being a more masculine person who comes across as non-binary, it was difficult to be fully accepted by both straight and queer people. So instead of being proud of others, I tend to be proud of myself. I show my pride with the openness I try to have with my sexuality and gender, regardless of whether the people around me use my correct pronouns or not. My pride is how I accept and love myself for who I am; it doesn’t matter if the world sees me for who I am or not ”.
What do you like about being a Staten Islander?
“As the newest Staten Islander it was interesting to fall in love with it. Living here automatically gives you something to connect with people you may never have connected with otherwise. This island is a kind of biodome, separated from the rest of New York in such a way that small communities grow based sometimes on the smallest things. Sometimes the island seems smaller than it is just by the number of people they know each other. This kind of thing helps me a lot, being more of an introverted person, not having to introduce myself because at least one of my friends knows you are a blessing.
During the month of Pride, you think about: what else is there to do?
“I don’t have to be honest. I never expect the world to improve the way we really want it. With democracy and our current concept of freedom, fanaticism, homophobia and racism will always be something we are fighting against. To be truly accepted there must be a change in the masses, which can only really happen over time ”.
Other “This Is Pride” Stories:
This Is Pride: The Grasmere couple founded Staten Island Stonewall and were active in the first LGBTQ + movement here
Here is a timeline of LGBTQ + history on Staten Island
This Is Pride: Queer Van Kult produces avant-garde performances and art highlighting talented LGBTQ + venues
Portrait of This Is Pride: This LGBTQ + ally designs inclusive lingerie for transgender women
This is the picture of Pride: Judge Matthew J. Titone, Staten Island’s first openly gay elected official, broke barriers in the face of discrimination
This Is Pride Portrait: Nicholas Robinson, HIV awareness and prevention activist
This Is Pride Portrait: Z-100’s Elvis Duran and husband, Alex Carr, became NYC celebrity supporters for LGBTQ + inclusion
This Is Pride Portrait: Dr. Melissa Yih, Ally and Fertility Specialist, Helps LGBTQ + Partners Create Their Own Families
This Is Pride Portrait: Carol Bullock, a leader dedicated to building community, courageous space, inclusion and alliance
A force for LGBTQ + inclusivity in Staten Island looks back on decades in the district pride movement
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