The hit singing competition series The Voice is back on NBC with its 22nd season. Countless young LGBTQ stars have gotten their start on The Voice including Sasha Allen and Sawyer Fredericks. Newcomers Kique and Eric Who have just made it past the blind auditions and are thrilled to be moving onto the next round where they’ll get to be mentored by their celebrity coaches.
GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos was joined by the two LGBTQ musicians to talk about their experience on the show.
Kique, whose coach is the iconic Gwen Stefani, revealed that, “Since I was a little kid, this has always been the dream.” Eric Who, who’s on Team Camilla Cabello, shared that he’s “still in the processing phase,” going on to say that “just the opportunity alone to get to audition in front of them is insane.”
Stepping out into the spotlight like this may be scary for some, but for Eric Who, “Just being able to be my authentic self, being able to vogue a little bit and represent the community on stage feels amazing.”
For Kique, coming out as gay “wasn’t a big deal.” It’s just who he is! “It was very cool to see other artists being open and being themselves,” he says.
Who thanks Billy Porter and Lil Nas X for paving a path for him to be himself. “When I see these individuals fully embracing and broadcasting who they are without any limitations, it’s motivation for me to do the same thing.”
Kique has a similar admiration for his favorite queer artist. “When I started branching off and finding music on my own, I found Sam Smith.” Smith’s music resonated with Kique and made him say, “I guess I’m just gonna exist the way everyone else is just existing.”
Eric Who hopes to be an inspiration for queer viewers everywhere. “I want any other queer individual to know that if you want an opportunity, if you want to be on a platform as big as The Voice or NBC, that you don’t have to suppress any part of your personality, you don’t have to hide any part of you.
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC and is available for streaming on Peacock.