F.D. Bordeaux (real name Alexander Xavier Harris) isn’t ashamed to call himself a gay rapper. In fact, he believes living out and proud is an ‘essential’ act of defiance in his industry.
The 20-year-old rapper was born in Texas, then moved to New Jersey when he was seven. He now attends college in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He describes his music as glitch-hop. ‘It’s very crass, it’s very vulgar, it’s very aggressive,’ he explains. ‘But I feel like there’s such a light – all of my music is danceable.
‘It’s trap, digital, galaxy and game-inspired,’ he said.
His name has an interesting back story to it. The ‘F’ stands for Fashion – an industry he’s always been in awe of. But the ‘D’ stands for Demon.
The gay rapper explains: ‘The “Demon” comes from my growing up. There was so much hate towards my sexuality and I just felt like I was being demonized for not meeting the conventional heteronormative idea of a masculine American black man.
‘So as a type of fuck you, I decided to be a Fashion Demon,’ he said.
Bordeaux revealed his childhood wasn’t easy as he was bullied all throughout school for being different.
‘As a black man especially, it was really tough,’ he said. ‘I just wanted to be me and just because I wasn’t walking around and acting and being like the rest of the guys, they all sensed that something was strange about me.
‘They attacked it.
‘They called me “gay”, “fag” and “pussy” – just all the things you could possibly imagine,’ he said.
One day in fourth grade, a group of boys tried to beat him up, but thanks to some previous martial arts training, he ‘beat their ass.’
Gay rapper: ‘I never really had to come out’
F.D. Bordeaux said he first started publicly identifying as gay after a particularly eventful first day at university.
‘I had my first sexual experience in my very first year of college on the very first day of school,’ he said. ‘That was when I was kind of like “You know what, I think I’m down with this”.’
The gay rapper had a girlfriend for three years throughout high school. He sees himself settling down with a man in the future, but says he’s open to ‘whatever you’ve got going on down there’.
He said: ‘I’m definitely open to anyone – I’m not someone where you have to be with he or her. As long as I vibe with who you are as a person.’
But reiterates he identifies as gay.
The only person he said he had to come out to was his mother, who has ‘always kind of known’ he was gay.
He says he surrounds himself with open-minded people so ‘never really had to shout out that I’m gay.’
The gay rapper said: ‘I don’t want to live my life where I’m surrounded by people who think it’s not okay to be gay, or anybody being gay.
‘If you’re not okay with someone being gay, then don’t talk to me,’ he added.
‘He told me he’s in love with Jesus’
F.D. Bordeaux’s debut song is a collaboration with his producer Ant Parker entitled Amphibious.
In it, he sings about a boy he develops feelings for, but the boy can’t love him back due to religious convictions.
‘I told him I’m in love with him,’ he sings. ‘He told me he’s in love with Jesus. He don’t want to offend Jesus – so in the future, he don’t really see us.’
On this tumultuous relationship, F.D. said: ‘That’s actually very real and super recent.’
The gay rapper continued: ‘There is a guy that I really fell for but he was going through struggles with his religion. He came from a devout Christian family and he was convinced that being gay was an atrocity and that he’d been trying for years to get rid of it.
‘He just hated himself. It was really hard for me to watch. I tried to help him as much as I could and that’s when I began writing that song,’ he said.
The two are still ‘really good friends’ and F.D. says he’s in a much better place with his sexuality now. He said: ‘He’s liberated now and he loves the song.’
On his musical influences, F.D. says his sound is a mixture between Frank Ocean’s album Blonde and Azealia Banks’ Broke with Expensive Taste.
But on Azealia’s previous outbursts calling Zayn Malik a ‘faggot’, F.D. said ‘it’s very clear that she’s not homophobic.’
He continued: ‘Azealia Banks has made it known she has some issues. I like that I see effort in that she’s trying to better herself.’
F.D. said he’s also inspired by New Zealand singer Kimbra, sexually fluid singer St Vincent and Tyler The Creator for his ‘boldness’ and ‘how he expresses himself as a black man.’
Does rap and hip-hop have a problem with homophobia?
F.D. stresses the importance of appreciating queer people of color in rap and hip-hop.
He said it was tough growing up and not seeing much LGBTI representation in the industry he loves.
F.D. said: ‘People, for the longest time, in rap music, were still pushing forward the words like “faggot” and things like that in a derogatory context.
‘It’s only recently that that has finally eased up.
‘We’re getting to a place where it’s like we’re willing to accept LGBTI people, but no one’s really talking about them. For some reason, we really have to dig deep and search for these LGBTI rappers – why?’
F.D. said he was recently talking to a promoter about booking a show to be the opening act for a prominent straight rapper.
But then the conversation shifted to whether or not the artist would want a gay rapper opening for him.
F.D. said: ‘It’s essential to live out and proud as a gay rapper. Not just for the gay community, but for the whole LGBTI community.’
He then added: ‘I think it’s essential that someone is representing the LGBTI community in hip hop. Specifically, people of color in urban settings.’
‘People of color in urban settings, who identify as LGBTI are in danger.
‘I think that my presence is hopefully liberating and freeing for those who feel trapped and imprisoned under the conventions of heterosociety,’ he said.
F.D. Bordeaux is currently working on his debut album.