Pride Month ends today, and despite going out on a down note, LGBTQ+ joy will never be grounded forever. Throughout June, HollywoodLife has celebrated with The Sound Of Pride, where celebs and stars of the LBGTQ+ community picked songs for the ultimate 2023 Pride Month playlist. It’s the soundtrack to keep Pride going all year long (while researching how to protect LGBTQ+ rights and the history of Pride Month. With the release of her new EP, Maris ends this year’s installment of TSOP with a call for acceptance and equality.
Despite Pride ending on a sour note, MARIS doesn’t want many to despair. “It’s hard to gauge exactly what the temperature is just through social media,” she tells HollywoodLife. “Even in my 23 years of life, I’ve watched my family and friends where I’m from evolve their views and become more open-minded and accepting, including myself!”
“However,” she adds, “I think that with all of the anti-trans bills being pushed across the nation, and especially in Montana where I’m from, it’s a time more than ever to bring concentrated hope and conscious action to protecting our LGBTQ loved ones and communities!
The Supreme Court concluded Pride Month by siding with a Colorado web designer named Lorie Smith, saying it’s her right to deny services for same-sex marriages because they conflict with her conservative Christian views. Lori Smith – who hasn’t started her marriage web design business – said that Colorado’s anti-discrimination law violated her right to free exercise of religion, which the conservative majority on the Supreme Court agreed with. Detractors have argued that this decision will legalize discrimination.
The final day of Pride shows that the fight is far from over. “When we advocate for acceptance and love for our most vulnerable and marginalized, we improve the quality of life for all of us,” says Maris in a message that the non-LGBTQ+ world should heed. “It’s so important to celebrate each other’s differences and in that find what we all have in common.”
MARIS’s message comes on the same day as her debut EP, GRAVITY THE EP. Released on Black House, the six-track EP includes two new previously unreleased tracks, “Goodbye Forever” and “outofmydepth.” MARIS will also release Gravity The EP: The Movie – a 17-minute short film that brings you through the journey of Gravity, will be premiering today at 2pm PT on YouTube followed by an exclusive YouTube AfterParty on YouTube Premium.
As her fans prepare for the release, here are her picks – and the final selections – for The Sound Of Pride 2023.
Scarlet Opera, “The Place To Be”
“I just love this band so much, and their entire community is full of extravagant, flamboyant and fabulous people! Their shows create an environment of radical joy and acceptance of our sexuality and vibrance.”
Kacey Musgraves, “Rainbow”
“Not exactly the same meaning as the rainbow pride flag, but when I listen to this song I’m always reminded that no matter how lonely and ostracized I feel, the love and community I seek has always been there, right in front of me.”
The Chicks, “Wide Open Spaces”
“This song is all about freedom to me, and the pursuit of it, even when it’s scary. That to me, is a massive facet of Pride.”
How was Pride 2023 different compared to last year?
I think that Pride is evolving every year, and it’s hard to gauge exactly what the temperature is just through social media. Even in my 23 years of life, I’ve watched my family and friends where I’m from evolve their views and becoming more open-minded and accepting, including myself! However, I think that with all of the anti-trans bills being pushed across the nation, and especially in Montana where I’m from, it’s a time more than ever to bring concentrated hope and conscious action to protecting our LGBTQ loved ones and communities!
Pride is a time to celebrate unsung heroes. Do you have any you’d like to give flowers to?
I would really like to take this opportunity to spotlight my friend Izzy Milch (they/them) who has been working with Forward Montana to advocate and protect LGBT+ youth in Montana for a few years now. Recently, Izzy has been a pivotal part of creating rallies and protests against the anti-trans legislation being pushed in Montana! You can learn more by going to https://queerjoymissoula.com/ !
Do you have a memory of Pride Months past that you’d like to share?
I, unfortunately, didn’t get to be there because I live in LA for music, but there was a massive community event held for Montana Representative Zooey Zephyr at Caras Park in Missoula. From the videos and stories I’ve heard, it was a smashing success and a really beautiful celebration of resilience, progress, and acceptance of ourselves and others, as well as a pushback to the absurd anti-LGBT+ ideology and agenda being pushed in legislation.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
This month so far I’ve just been playing a few shows, celebrating my beautiful friends and life, and moving to a new apartment.
Do you have a Pride 2023 message to end this month?
“When we advocate for acceptance and love for our most vulnerable and marginalized, we improve the quality of life for all of us! It’s so important to celebrate each other’s differences, and in that find what we all have in common! LOVE! Happy Pride. Make sure to vote and show love and support to your LGBT+ loved ones with all of the chaos and negativity that goes on in the world.”
Remember…fix your heart or die.