Tegan and Sara’s “Faint of Heart” Shows the Bright Queer and Trans Present We Always Dreamed Of

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.

Eli Erlick and Ni Ching-Marino looking perfect as Tegan and Sara.

Eli Erlick and Ni Ching-Marino looking perfect as Tegan and Sara.

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.


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Mey Valdivia Rude is a bisexual Latina trans woman living in Los Angeles. She's a writer, comic consultant and a trans activist. She's a bruja, a femme, a pop princess and she loves comic books, witches, dinosaurs and crying. She has a cat named Sawyer and a very successful twitter.

Mey has written 500 articles for us.

8 Comments

  1. Mey, I’m so excited to see you write about this today! “Faint of Heart” is my favourite song on the Love You to Death album and this video is just gorgeous and so, so touching. Everyone in it seems so proud to be a part of it and so proud to be THEMSELVES and it’s an amazing representation for the LGBTQIA community. This video has truly made my day.

  2. No way! Wow this is fantastic. Way to go Tegan and Sara. And these young people are all so talented and bright and shiny and hopeful and ok maybe I cried a bit too! This song hadn’t originally jumped out at me just listening to the audio, but the video added some context for me and now I just–oh you mean THIS love! Yes, absolutely, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Aren’t all these kids so brave and aren’t we pretty brave ourselves every day? This was a great end to a night of seeing Kate McKinnon on the big screen and listening to Cameron and Rhea on the drive home. So proud!

  3. I loved this article by Mey and the performers in the videos! I shared it with all my Rebel Moms Book groups, art/activist pages, and on all my Rebellion Press pages. What a strong and postive experience to counter all the hate and violence shaking our world. Love is strong!
    Starting this Saturday off sweet and special.💖

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