Welcome to “Seven Minutes in Heaven,” GO Magazine’s brand new interview series that profiles a different queer lady each day, by asking her seven unique (and sometimes random) questions. Get to know the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of the groundbreaking, fierce forces-of-nature in the queer community.
It’s Bisexual Awareness Week and we’re celebrating with a slew of interviews, first-person narratives and essays. Though we always give love to the bisexual babes in our community—this week “Seven Minutes in Heaven” is solely focused on bisexual women.
You may already know the talented singer Giselle Grayson from her work with Sean Paul, T.I. and Young Jeezy. Grayson has been breaking glass ceilings and only continues to rise in her music career. She’s a true talent. And she also happens to be bisexual!
Grayson sat down with GO to talk about music, bisexual visibility and how the music industry can do better with LGBTQ representation.
GO Magazine: Who are you and what do you do?
Giselle Grayson: Most people would know me from music, I’m a singer-songwriter from Austin, TX. I’ve actually just moved back to Austin from Los Angeles this past year. My album, “SIREN,” debuted at No. 79 on the iTunes Pop Charts, and I have opened arena tours for T.I., Sean Paul, Young Jeezy, and Lloyd. I’m a passionate artist. I grew up in the industry, my dad is a Country/Blues artist, so I feel like this path was inevitable for me. No matter what I venture off into, music has always been my constant passion. But I’m also a photographer and Sr. Graphic Designer for Rooster Teeth. Art, in all forms, feeds my soul. I’m engaged to a beautiful woman, Kara Ragland, who is also an entertainer and child-whisperer—she’s a celebrity nanny.
GO: How do you hope to see bisexual visibility improve in the LGBTQ community?
GG: I’d like to see more inclusion, less stigma. A debate I have often is the way people identify my relationship with my fiancé, usually calling us a lesbian couple. I’m very sensitive to bi-erasure. I think it’s interesting that the bisexuality is often the first to be dismissed when partnering with someone who identifies strictly as straight or lesbian. Of course, I hope at the end of the day everyone grows to accept love as love, and we no longer have the need to place an identifier in front of “relationship.”
GO: Where do you go for inspiration when you’re feeling discouraged or depleted?
GG: I turn to music, always. The healing and solidarity that can be found in music is one of the greatest joys I get as an artist. So when I’m down and need to feel uplifted I always turn to music. And of course my fiancé, Kara, she’s the most encouraging, uplifting person I’ve ever met. We recently got to see the touring cast of Fun Home, and that was an incredibly moving experience. I highly recommend at musical to anyone, especially in our community. I’ve also been known to have an endless stream of Friends episodes playing in the background when I’m down.
GO: Who are your bi role models?
GG: Sara Ramirez is one of my biggest bi role models. She represents a lot of what I can relate to, not only being bi and being an advocate for the bi community, but she’s also tall, curvy, and an entertainer. It’s been very interesting to watch her journey over the past year.
Lady Gaga as well, it’s inspiring what she does for the community and the way that she exposes her vulnerability through music, fashion, and art. She is a goddess of a woman.
GO: What are you listening to right now?
GG: I’m in the studio recording an album right now, so I try to stay away from radio when I’m in that process. But I am really feeling Bishop Briggs music, she has such a unique sound. Madilyn Bailey, a cover artist on YouTube, has been on my playlists a lot lately. This past year I was introduced to Griz, and I’ve since become a fan of his music as well, I’d love to do some work with him at some point. My inner drag queen is always listening to Christina Aguilera… I really hope she tours again soon.
GO: Why is it important to have LGBTQ spaces, especially in the music industry?
GG: Inclusion is critical. I think the more awareness we have the more freedom people have to be who they are without fear. But until we have that it’s important to have place where LGBTQ people can go to feel free, uninhibited, and accepted.
I know a lot of people may not think it’s really much of an issue in Hollywood or the entertainment business, but it still really is. I had a label, not-so-subtly, ask me to not be out with my relationship. I was 2 years into my engagement with my fiancé and I just couldn’t believe that this conversation was on the table. That promptly ended my relationship with that label and I’ve been even more vocal and active in the community since then.
GO: Where can people find you?
GG: My new album “The Recollection” will be out in the winter, and I’ll be adding some tour dates in the next couple of months (after our wedding in October). Until then people can find me online. Don’t hesitate to reach out, I love interacting with new people.