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LGBTQ+ Empowerment

A Q&A With a Member of the 2021 Class of HRC Foundation Youth Ambassadors

Photo: Courtesy of Emery Bates

Luke Chacko (he/she/they) is a 15-year-old from Arlington, Texas, who became a viral internet sensation after their performance on stage with Idina Menzel at the Verizon Theater. Luke is passionate about using songwriting as a tool to help others, and their hope is to encourage people to be authentic and to empower and support the LGBTQ community through their music.

What does Pride mean to you? 

Pride to me is an expression of creativity, authenticity, and art. Having pride and taking pride shows yourself and others around you that you are confident in who you are and shows the courage and strength you have. Whether that be a Pride month or just simply wearing a Pride accessory, showing your true colors and expressing your authenticity through art is beautiful and powerful.

What was your first Pride or Pride month like? 

I have never really had the experience of a “Pride month” because I didn’t have a group of people around me who cared about it like I did. I was planning to go to my first pride event in the summer of 2020, but sadly the pandemic stopped it. I definitely want to go someday, though, because I really would love to just celebrate the art of love!

What makes you feel empowered as an LGBTQ+ person? 

What makes me feel empowered as a gay and non-binary youth is music. Music from other queer artists or LGBTQ+ advocates is always so uplifting. Music is meant to bring people together and music is liberating. If it weren’t for some of these singers in the industry today, we wouldn’t have a Pride month or the advocacy we have today.

What message do you have for other LGBTQ+ youth this Pride month? 

My message to other queer, trans, and non-binary youth would be: Stand up. Youth are the future of the world and without you, we won’t evolve as a society. We have to rise above the hatred and discrimination and take that and throw it away. 

What’s your favorite thing about being trans/non-binary? 

My favorite thing about being non-binary is not being put in a box of gender norms and rules. Being non-binary has no rules, and it feels good when I can mix masculine and feminine together and have it be just me. 

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