My sexuality was never something I kept a secret, but it when it came to my family, it was also never something I was open about. Growing up in Myrtle Beach, I was lucky to have a community that was fairly accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, and I was even luckier to have been born into a family that was accepting of it as well.
I'd listened to Pvris for a few months before I actually started to question my sexuality. I really loved their music, and I thought that Lynn, Alex, and Brian were each super talented.
During my times of doubt of my sexuality and how I would be perceived by the world for it, I would often look to Lynn's story. She did what she loved and succeed at it, and it didn't matter that she was gay. Reading about her experiences were always a helpful reminder that my sexuality didn't define me. I had so much potential to show the world, and I shouldn't let being scared of the perceptions of strangers hold me back.
For a solid two years, if you asked any of my friends who my favorite band was, they'd say "Pvris." Needless to say, this band was sort of a safe haven for me when I was juggling the Hannah Montanna-esque double life of being out to most of my peers, but in the closet to all of my family. I still think it's so incredible to see a popular band with a front woman who's part of the LGBTQ+ community. It's even more incredible to me that people love Pvris for who they are and the music they make, not just because of the front woman's sexual orientation. They aren't a group who relies on the LGBT aspect to keep them relevant. They're relevant because they're talented as hell, and there's no one out there making music like theirs right now other than them.
That's so amazing to me, and it keeps me inspired.
It reminds me that I'm more than whatever labels are attached to me, and those who really care about me and what I do will love me no matter what. It's humbling, almost. It shows that we are more than what we may expect, and we are defined by what we do, not what we are.
That being said, it's pretty obvious how monumental it was when I was given the opportunity to volunteer with The Ally Coalition during a Pvris show on October 8th.
I had found out about the opportunity to join the volunteer team through an ad on Facebook, and I immediately jumped at the chance.
The Ally Coalition and the website Propeller joined up with Pvris, and all I had to do in order to volunteer was work my way up the leaderboard of volunteers. To do so, I spent most of my time between class signing petitions, watching videos, and joining newsletters.
Sure enough, I got the email about a week before the concert offering me my spot to volunteer, and all I had to do to secure that spot was make a $10 donation to The Ally Coalition.
Donate money to a great cause in order to volunteer for a great band? You didn't have to ask me twice!
I decided to take a Lyft to the venue with a couple of girls from my floor who happened to be going to the show as well. Once we had checked in with our lead volunteer, Ty, the rest of the volunteers (Bec and Matthew) and I had about an hour to connect with the people waiting in line before we went inside to do the bulk of our work.
The process was simple enough: approach fans, ask them if they had heard of the contest that let them watch part of the show from "the best seat in the house", and tell them all about it. While I did get the inevitable weird looks from parents who wanted their kids to have nothing to do with this contest that they had never heard of, I also met some people who were extremely excited over the chance to win this.
All the volunteering entailed was getting people to sign up for Propeller, and take different actions on the website, such as signing petitions. It seemed simple enough. Since Propeller was filled with great causes, many people were excited to take part in the contest, especially because all they had to do was sign up for a website and sign petitions for worthy causes.
Bec, Matthew, Ty, and I spent several hours connecting with different fans who may be interested in the contest, The Ally Coalition, and the different causes Propeller had to offer. We connected with over one hundred people, and encouraged each of them to find causes on Propeller that they were passionate about, and to continue using the site in the future.
It was really incredible to see how many people showed up for the concert, especially because a dollar from each ticket sale went to benefit The Ally Coalition. It was even better to see how many people genuinely cared for the causes we were spreading information about.
The people I met while spreading the word about The Ally Coalition were really incredible too. While I was making the rounds of the venue, I met a girl who worked with Warner, and she gave me a Lights poster and notepad, so shout out to her.
Once Flint Eastwood toke stage, our volunteering started to come to an end. We talked to a few people looking at merch and concessions in between her set and Lights's, but for the most part everyone was beginning to join the crowd.
If you haven't already heard, then allow me to be the first to tell you that Flint Eastwood puts on an incredible show. I was standing in the back of the venue with the other volunteers, and even from back there her energy made it feel like I was right in the thick of the crowd with everyone else. I decided I wanted to try to meet her after her set, and she was by far one of the nicest people I've ever met. She complimented me a ton, shook my hand, and asked me my name; she made it feel like a personal experience, like I wasn't just another person in a line.
Soon after we met her, Bec and I made our way over to the crowd to watch Lights's set. Seeing her live was so incredible to me. I've been a fan of Lights since I was in middle school, and seeing her a month after entering my freshman year of college really put how long I had been wanting to see her into perspective. Lights put on an incredible set. Whether you know her music or not, there's no denying that everything she releases is catchy.
Once Lights finished, it wasn't long before Pvris went on. Ty met up with Bec and I on the side of the crowd that we were on, near the side-stage section. I'll happily admit that I cried multiple times during their set. It's very surreal to finally see an artist you like in concert, but when that same artist helped you come to terms with yourself? That's a pretty awesome experience to have.
It was no surprise that Pvris was amazing live. They played some new songs and some old ones, and put a different spin on a couple songs in the set here in there. I immediately noticed that Pvris is the type of band that sounds even better live than they do recorded, and their stage presence is incredible.
At the end of the night, I went toward the tour busses with one of the girls I had driven to the concert with (Taylor). We waited about thirty minutes to see if we would be able to meet anyone after the show; no matter how late we wished we could stay, it was cold and we were exhausted. Luckily for us, Brian from Pvris came out shortly before we left. He spoke to a bunch of us about the concert and what we thought about it, and he thanked us for coming and being fans.
About ten minutes after seeing Brian, Taylor and I decided it was time to head back to our dorms. We scheduled another Lyft, and proceeded to make our way back to Drexel not one after.
Upon getting back to my room, I remembered the merch I had bought before much of anyone entered the venue. I can't deny that having early dibs on merchandise was a great unintentional benefit of the night.
Looking back at it a week later, I'd easily volunteer for The Ally Coalition again. The entire night was more fun than I could have ever asked for, and I got to meet some really great people through spreading the word about something I am passionate about. I'm so grateful for the experience that The Ally Coalition and Pvris gave me that night.
Nothing quite beats being on the opposite side of the venue's doors before a show starts, all because you took a chance to join something you care about.