Alongside his appearance in the viral Taste So Good ad campaign for Cann – featuring everyone from Kesha, Patricia Arquette and Gus Kenworthy to Drag Race faves Willow Pill and Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté – Vincint made appearances at no fewer than 20 Pride festivals across the United States.
“I’m literally performing at every Pride that has ever been created known to man,” he jokes, with four left to go at the time we speak.
The way that it’s kind of been set up, most of them are back-to-back, so I do the Pride, I go to bed, I wake up at six, I go to the next city, I do the Pride, I go to bed.
“It’s rare that I do get to go out, but when I do it’s fun. I get to enjoy some of it. And I’d never complain about being booked and busy.”
His highlight of Pride 2022 was performing in Washington DC, where vice president Kamala Harris delivered a speech.
Vincint says: “It was incredible. It was my first time playing that specific Pride, and to have this moment where my song came on and the whole crowd started singing it and I felt like, for the first time in a very long time, I was at Pride again.
“That’s why we do Pride to have this moment together where we all feel really, really safe and happy on a nice sunny warm day, and we don’t stress about things, we’re just happy and dancing together. That will stick in my mind for a long time.”
For Pride, we spoke to Vincint about why Beyoncé is his ultimate queer icon, his tearful Heartstopper rewatches and the Whitney Houston anthem that takes him back to his own coming out…
Who was the first queer person you can remember looking up to?
Probably my mum’s childhood friend, Frank. He wouldn’t let me call him my aunt, it was always “Uncle Frank”, but I mean like… wigs, gowns, nails, beat, every day. He was the first introduction into meeting someone from our community in person.
Our relationship was great, I think Uncle Frank saw me at a young age and knew, like, “she’s one of us”. So it was a quick bond there. And Uncle Frank taught me how to stand up for myself or stand in myself, if I’m being honest. We were very, very close.
What was the first LGBTQ+ TV show or film that you remember resonating with you?
I definitely used to sneak-watch Queer As Folk. I look back now and I’m like, “nah babe, you definitely should not have been watching it at your age, but go off, good for you”. I don’t know if it really resonated with me, because it was seven white men who fully didn’t ever talk about people of colour or the trans community or things like that. But I kind of got the vibe that “this is what gay life is like” and at a young age kind of got a view of what gay culture looked like from that standpoint.
Noah’s Arc was like our community’s Queer As Folk. That was about four Black gay men, it was like the Black gay Sex And The City. It was what we needed to see and it gave so many different contexts of what Black gay men are. That was my first time feeling like, “cute, we can have those things too, we can dress that way too, we aren’t excluded from the narrative always”. Growing up with that show was my first look into what Black gay culture was.
What’s a song you associate with your own coming out?
Queen Of The Night by Whitney Houston. I came out at a really, really young age and I was obsessed with Whitney Houston, and that song for me… I was just like, “I’ve got the stuff that you want, and also I’m the queen of the night”. Hi Whitney Houston, that song is about me, thank you so much for calling. Iconic song, iconic outfit, iconic music video. It’s one of my favourites.
What was the most recent LGBTQ+ show or film that made an impact on you?
I’ve been watching Heartstopper and crying. I don’t know what it is about the show but it fully encompasses that feeling I think all of us wanted to feel in high school, where you like a boy, and albeit everything’s working against you, he still wants you and loves you and fights for you.
It’s like… that didn’t happen for me, but I’m so happy it’s happening for the boy in this TV show. I can’t stop watching it, I’ve rewatched it three or four times and cried every single time.
Who is your ultimate queer icon?
Beyoncé, duh. Is there another answer? I’ve admired her since I was seven, since I first saw her spin around in those hair salon chairs in Bills, Bills, Bills and it was like, “great, an icon, I’ll take it”. She is my favourite everything – my favourite icon, my favourite artist, all of it.
I think unlike many artists, she does this thing where we don’t know so much about it, and I think because we’re gay and all we want is to know tea all the time, it’s so nice to have someone finally be like, “no I’m not going tell you a goddamn thing, listen to the music, see you soon”. She emanates that joy that we all want and we go to the club and we can release.
Who is a queer person in the public eye right now that makes you excited about the future?
My friend Johnny Sibilly is on the new version of Queer As Folk, Devin Way is also in it and they are incredible actors and incredible people. The show is iconic and I think that it’s so needed now, because we need a new look at what gay life actually looks like for all of us. Also, Kelechi is an artist that I admire, he’s someone that I just see doing amazing things.
Why do you think Pride is still so important today?
Look at the state of the world, it’s a shitshow out here. At every turn, especially in the US, lawmakers are trying to do the stupidest things. Instead of saving children from gun violence in schools they’re trying to block them from watching drag queens, and trying to block people from our community experiencing what it’s like to be themselves and flourish in those moments. And so Pride is more relevant today than it ever has been. It’s so needed because we are constantly in the fight for our lives to just be acknowledged, seen and respected.
Pride is definitely a joyous moment for us all to be together, and take comfort from the community of it all, but it’s also like, “hi, remember that we started doing this because we had to, because they were coming after us, and now we have to stand our ground and fully be the people that we saw years ago”.
What’s your message for the next generation of LGBTQ+ people?
Get out here and make statements. Go all out. Don’t be inhibited by the state of the world. Don’t be stressed about what people will think of you. If you feel like you’re really good at something, and you want to show it, show it. Take the leap. Take stock of who you are and what you offer to the world, and give it 100 times over.
Listen to Vincint’s track Believer below: