“We are Tha Nobodys! Who are hell are you?”
That’s how the all-female genderqueer group greeted the audience at Busboys and Poets on 5th and K St. in Washington, D.C., Tuesday night before performing songs of empowerment and discussing their own struggles.
“We wanted to highlight people who were left out,” Lee Winnike, 25, said regarding Q(Weird)o.
Though this was Q(Weird)o’s first venue, coordinators Winnike, Alissa Perine and Benny Rodriguez thought the event was well received and hope to plan more performance and social events to bring the LGBTQ community together for those who feel alone.
“Not only am I trans, but I’m also Hispanic,” 23-year-old Rodriguez, of Brooklyn, N.Y., said. “There’s not a lot of representation for brown transfolk.”
The idea of Q(Weird)o emerged only a couple months ago when the three of them got together and realized how underrepresented the genderqueer community is, especially those of color as well.
Artists Chinky Miyake, Jimmii Montana and Jaydee Polo of Tha Nobodys initiated their performance with a cypher, spitting hard-hitting lyrics to energize the crowd despite having never rehearsed for the event.
After the cypher, Baltimore native Polo showcased a few of her own singles, including “Inside of Me,” which was about the difficulties of growing up and coming out as an African-American lesbian.
Next, Montana, originally from Cleveland, performed a cover of “Dreams Money Can Buy” by Drake.
The name, Tha Nobodys, derived from the feeling that at one point in their lives, everyone has felt like a nobody, as if they did not belong or matter.
“As lesbian females, we are nobody,” Miyake said, referencing the music industry. “We had no voice.”
Polo and Montana said, often, lesbian hip-hop artists are not taken seriously.
“You have to earn your respect as a lesbian female rapper.” Polo said. “They take you as a joke.”
“A lot of people call it gay music, but I don’t even know that is,” Montana said. Good music is, simply, good music, she said.
Although the members are working on separate albums and mixtapes, they all agreed that as a group, they’re in it for life because the chemistry is too good to let go, they said.
“We wanna go until the wheels fall off,” Montana said. “We wanna go until we can’t go no more.”
Maria Kim is a junior journalism major and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.