MUNA’s self-titled third album arrives on Friday 24 June
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE VIA KATIEGAVS ON INSTAGRAM
Today, lead singer of alt-pop band MUNA Katie Gavin has shared that she is neurodivergent. Taking to Instagram to discuss her journey, she expressed: “I know about zero people who listen to MUNA will be surprised to learn that I am neurodivergent. It was in the songs before I even had the words to speak about it.” With their raw, hard-hitting tracks, the all-queer MUNA are renowned for tackling issues so many of their LGBTQI fans struggle with, from heartbreak to depressive episodes. Their songs offer solace for many; a sonic home offering a space to cry, to dance, to reflect.
“I struggle with depression, anxiety, addiction, and obsessive thinking. My depression makes me remote, my anxiety makes me too up close, and my obsessive thinking and addictions are failed escape routes from either of these upsetting situations”, Katie shared.
Notably, this comes before MUNA’s third, self-titled album arrives on Friday 24 June. “In preparing to put out this record, we’ve talked a lot about the growth that we have been afforded through working on this project for the majority of our twenties. Again, it’s in the songs. The cycles I used to be stuck in track after track have taken up less space on each record, making room for me to explore the subtler, more tender, and more intimate reality of a life grounded in my gift of a body”, Katie continued.
“But I want to share that, also in preparing for the release of this record, I’ve suffered a bout of anxiety that was nearly incapacitating. The only reason I have been able to continue to show up for interviews and performances is that my band mates and loved ones have carried me. I am moving towards a better place, but I’m shaken.”
“The thing I keep thinking is that I care about showing up for the other people who are like me – who panic when things are too good or too big, who require maintenance and asking for help to do things that seem simple or fun to others, who are overstimulated and fatigued, who blame themselves but are trying to learn not to.”
“I know that people who listen to MUNA accept me for who I am, which is why I felt comfortable sharing about this. Yes, this record is more joyful. Yes, we’ve made so much progress as people through the life of this project. But I also want to affirm what we already know that growth isn’t linear, that it’s okay for me to be human.”
“I want to thank all the people who have supported me the last few weeks, and I also want to thank every queer person who has talked about their neurodivergence openly and without shame. You have encouraged me to be able to do the same. Our album is out Friday. we got this. Happy Pride”, she concluded.
Indeed, the link between neurodiversity and the LGBTQI community is prominent. Autistic people are more likely to identify as LGBTQI, with one 2017 study conducted in the Netherlands finding that a mere 57% of autistic women reported being straight. This compares to 82% of autistic men. The National LGBT Health Education Centre further found that neurodivergent people as a group – including other neurodiverse conditions such as ADHD, dyspraxia and more – were more likely to identify as LGBTQI. Another 2008 study identified that more adults with ADHD identified as bisexual compared to individuals without ADHD.
Katie’s statement is so powerful. Being so open and honest about her journey is providing real representation: it has the capacity to change lives. When I was growing up, as a child that didn’t yet realise she was bisexual and neurodivergent, this type of visibility would have been groundbreaking. If I’d seen role models like Katie talking about neurodiversity, it might not have taken me until I was 22 to figure it all out.
Surprise! MUNA are appearing in our July issue, available for pre-order now. Grab your copy here, or follow the trio across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep up with their latest. The self-titled MUNA is out on Friday 24 June.
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