Want to learn more about everyone’s favourite queer duo?
BY ASH MANGANARO, IMAGE BY ELUVIER ACOSTA
The iconic indie pop duo that has all the sapphics screaming, Tegan and Sara, are Canadian twins, snapping in both looks and sexualities (have you gathered that they’re both gay yet?) Whether you’ve been following them since the late 90s or early 2020s here are 5 fun facts about Tegan and Sara.
Their first songs
In 1995, when they were 15 years old, they started sneaking out a guitar they found in their stepdad’s basement; thus, beginning their journey in writing and recording their own songs, evolving into their first band “Plunk.”
Sara’s first song was Tegan Didn’t Go To School Today and Tegan’s first song was called Condamnation.
The same as writers write what they read, the same goes for musicians, with a variety of albums inspiring their own work. The Quin twins love Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 album She’s So Unusual with Tegan noting “we were a Cyndi Lauper household”. Their mother had a blue Aerostar minivan where most of their favourite albums were blasted.
Other inspirational albums for the duo include Bruce Springsteen’s 1987 album Tunnel Of Love, the late Sinead O’Connor’s 1987 album The Lion And The Cobra, Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind, and Smashing Pumpkins’ 1993 album Siamese Dream.
Sara said: “One of the most important moments of my teenage life was hearing Today [by Smashing Pumpkins] for the very first time… I prided myself on being able to sing the entire album (including guitar solos) acapella.”
Since the beginning of their career in 1998, the twins have been open about being queer. From fashion to hair, their family have always encouraged them to present however they want to. Throughout high school Sara had been having secret romances with girls, but it wasn’t until she “started engaging in a significant relationship” that she came out, saying that “it didn’t feel good or fair to deny myself or my girlfriend the opportunity to be out among our friends and family”.
All the while Tegan reflects how in the 90s sleepovers went without suspicion, seizing the opportunity “of getting to have sex with your girlfriend at your childhood home, something that happens for a lot of people in college”.
The Tegan and Sara Foundation
Not only are they open about their own queerness, but they are also working towards improving the world for other members of the LGBTQIA community. The Tegan and Sara foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of LGBTQIA women and girls, founded on a commitment to feminism and racial, social and gender justice. The board also includes one of our favourite queer icons – The Umbrella Academy’s Elliot Page, as well as activists from Canada and beyond!
In 2022 they released an LGBTQIA Healthcare Directory, a free resource allowing people to easily source inclusive healthcare providers. Not only this, they launched a survey, ensuring LGBTQIA people’s voices were heard with regards to the Covid-19 vaccine; ensuring inclusivity towards trans people, only asking “current gender” and not “sex assigned at birth.” As we all know, zines hold a mega queer history, The Tegan and Sara foundation are no exception to this, launching In Our Image in 2021. The zine features non-binary New York photographer, Amanda Picotte, founder and CEO of She Shreds Media, Fabiola Reyna, and The Native Youth Sexual Health Network.
Want to learn more about the Calgary born pair? Well in November 2020 they threw us all into a nostalgia filled time capsule with their memoir High School, which later became a New York Times best seller. October 2022 brought about the Freevee (another streaming service branch from Amazon) adaptation. The series, set in the twin’s 10th grade, features TikTok creators and real-life twins Railey and Seazynn Gilland as Tegan and Sara, exploring their own individual personalities and how music brings them together.
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