New Orleans native and “Queen of Bounce,” Big Freedia started off gracing stages in her hometown. Her album “Just Be Free,” and its popular single “Explode,” as well as her reality show “Queen of Bounce,” have gained Freedia a considerable fan base. 

Freedia, who does not identify as transgender, spoke to the Advocate about her gender identity.

I always wanted to be what I wanted to be and be comfortable in my own skin. Act how I feel, dress however I feel. I’m a voice for a lot of people who really don’t have a voice. I want people to be able to identify as whomever they choose to be and feel free to be whomever they want to be. That’s why I called my last album “Just Be Free,” meaning just be free in your own skin. Be whoever you want to be. Wear whatever you want to wear. Talk to whomever you want. Eat whatever you choose. Do everything you want in life because you have only one life.

Freedia on progress for the LGBTQ community:

Definitely! There’s been progress. Things have been changing. Our voices are being heard. People want to see us more. We are there more in the TV world and the music world. Gay marriage – now we are allowed that. People are definitely getting more open minded and laid back. It’s not as hard as it used to be when we were younger. 

Read more of her interview here.

Her upcoming book “Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva,” is set for a July release.