So, are you looking to listen to an absolutely great pop song while crying because you’re so happy and hopeful today? That’s basically what I plan on doing every day! Tegan and Sara’s video for “Faint of Heart,” the latest single off Love You to Death, premiered today over at Teen Vogue and it is stunning. The band has been bombarding us (in a good way) with a bunch of really wonderful and terrific music videos off their latest album recently, but this one is definitely my favorite. This video focuses on the queer community at large, with a bunch of talented and young queer and trans people taking center stage to show off what they got.
The premise of the video, which barely features the band at all, is a wonderfully queer and youthful lip sync competition. It’s heartbreakingly beautiful watching young trans and queer people like the agender writer and speaker Tyler Ford (as Prince), I am Cait’s Ella Giselle (as Madonna), Intersex and trans dancer Dominic Ravina (as Elvis), actor and writer Olabisi Kovabel (as Grace Jones), Cooper Treibel (as David Bowie) and trans activist and writer Eli Erlick and trans girl Ni Ching-Marino (as Tegan and Sara themselves) dance and lip synch all while looking absolutely terrific dressed as musical icons.
The video was also directed by Mahu (a Hawaiian term for people who embody both male and female spirits) writer and director Devon Kirkpatrick, adding another talented young queer person to the mix. Ugh, seriously, I love these young people being able to dress up and look wonderful and show off on a stage with an adoring audience applauding. This video brings so much joy and pride, especially in self-expression. I can’t stop smiling and crying while watching. Kirkpatrick told me that he was hoping to highlight the LGBTQ community with this video.
As a non-binary director myself, it’s important to me to be a part of creating opportunities that highlight the talents of the LGBT and specifically trans and GNC community. To cast trans and GNC young people as icons that helped to push the gender binary was especially gratifying. We cast two queer identified trans girls as Tegan and Sara themselves. It felt especially important to create a space that reflects inclusiveness.
The song itself is a super fun ’80s pop throw back, and continues the band’s great pop sound. It’s a really gorgeous love song about being strong enough to withstand a society and world who says that your love is reckless, dangerous, unlikely and even wrong. “This love ain’t made for the faint of heart. Real love is tough,” the chorus says, and amen, what a gorgeous message to go along with a gorgeous video. This is my favorite music video since Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Boy Problems”, which also featured a lot of queer and trans youth, including Black trans woman artist and model Torraine. Actually, and I know this is blasphemy coming from me, but I think I love this video even more than that one. How can you watch these amazing queer and trans youth lip sync “Real love is tough” and not feel your heart grow ten sizes?
The day after the horrible Orlando Shooting where 49 people were murdered in a Gay Nightclub on Latin night, Her Story star and co-creator Jen Richards, who also appears in the video with Angelica Ross and Laura Zak, tweeted that she was working on a fun project that felt like the perfect answer to the tragedy. Today, we found out that it was this beautiful video. Jen was absolutely right. This is exactly what we need to feel hopeful and proud in a time that’s been really tough on queer and trans people, especially queer and trans people of color. Just look at how beautiful and talented and handsome and stunning and charismatic all of these queer and trans people are. With people like this in our community, there’s no way the future and present aren’t incredibly bright.