fbpx
TRANSCEND

TRANSCEND: NEVERENDING NINA

Our host Gracie Cartier sits with artist, Neverending Nina

The following is a transcript of Gracie’s conversation with artist, Neverending Nina

GRACIE

She has a powerful voice and she’s not afraid to use it, next. My guest today is an amazing singer song writer and community cultivator who uses her voice to the fullest expression. She’s a speaker and has led and served on panels for the NAACP, The Recording Academy, and the Unique Woman’s Coalition. And I’m excited that she’s here today to share some insight with us. Welcome to Transcend. It’s the beautiful Neverending Nina. Welcome cis.

NEVERENDING NINA

Thank you. Thank you so much, Gracie. Glad to be in the space.

GRACIE

I’m so happy to have you here. I’m so excited to have Nina here with us today. Honestly, I’ve seen this woman around so many times and I would see each other in passing and we did a project together with The Cut, and I honestly did not even know that she was one of my trans sisters. I was under the assumption that this was a full on, tall, vivacious, gorgeous ciswoman. And I found out that like she was one of the girls and I gagged, I really did Nina. I honestly gag, I had no idea. And that kind of like takes me into the conversation now in terms of my friends, you know, my people in all honesty, they see me as a woman, but I am not in denial with myself. I’m from the ballroom scene. So we all know the categories of realness in face and body and sex blah, blah, blah. And I always knew starting my transition late, I was never in denial of the fact that I knew that I was not one of the, as society would say, one of the passable girls, the passable means you cannot tell if this is a trans woman or a trans man. So my question to you, for someone from the outside looking in, you look like complete fish. Would you say that there’s a difference or the journey is easier or more challenging for women that may not be as passable, or for women that are passable? Is there a difference to you?

NEVERENDING NINA

I mean, I always sent and read a thank you. I always say that with great power comes great responsibility. And so for me, how I was raised, that wasn’t the center of my existence. And so that let me see everyone in the spectrum accordingly. And so with respect, just because I was able to get through that means I’m keeping the door open for everybody else who might have a harder time to get through. So that’s always been in my mental of how I show up because I’m just not gonna be the one to get through and then close the door behind me. And so, like I said before, I’ve always recognized that my place of privilege, but still using that for their advantage, for everyone in that space and for my community.

GRACIE

What are your thoughts on today’s trans woman opposed to the old girls. I mean, I grew up in a time with some of the older divas and as I was taught to always respect my elders, it applies the same for the women that have come before me, and that have paved the way. Would you say that there’s a difference between the two today?

NEVERENDING NINA

I think because the balance, not even a balance, it is a balance of respectability because now we have more access. And so like we would need a good auntie or a good community leader to help us, guide us, and navigate us. Now, thankfully in the year 2021, if I recognize it, realize that I am of the transgender spectrum, I can easily access my laptop, I can easily access my phone, I can easily access anything to discover who I am. And so I think that might be the missing component for as some of the disrespect sometimes when navigating the OGs of the community.

GRACIE

Let’s talk about it.

NEVERENDING NINA

Come on. Because I think that’s the natural balance of when you look to somebody, or that magical moment where you’re just minding your business and you see this glamazon walking down the street and you’d be like, “Well, what is that?” And so it causes you to do your own research or get into the community, whether it’d be pageant, ballroom, club, any type of social structure depending on and represented the LGBTQI+ community, particularly trans, that’s a space where then you can cultivate how you wanna show up, how you navigate, and talk to community. And so I think that’s the thing that although I’m grateful for that, yes, in the year 2021, we have all these advancements, but I think we also have to balance the actual camaraderie in community aspects. So the two and two can be a duality in existence.

GRACIE

Beautifully said, and it is for me, I’m so big on respect. I’m not saying that you had to go out of your way to pay homage to the girls that have come before you, but I do think that there is a certain level of respect that should be held when it comes to the OGs, because the OGs, like you said, it’s so different now in terms of access, in terms of social media, the girls in the day, back in the day, they went through so much just to be visible. They went through so much just to exist in the space that they do. So it’s like, I think that respect is very big. What challenges have you faced being a beautiful black trans woman?

NEVERENDING NINA

Thinking that sometimes you are untouchable far as just not having, not allowing people to have access to you or thinking that you might be, you think too much of yourself. And so I think leading for me, leading organically with the notion of that, “I’m your home girl, maybe I’m cool.” And it’s like, when you get to know me, if you get two minutes by me, if you get five minutes around me, you’ll see, “Oh, no, like, okay, I can understand the beauty. I can understand all of those things, the physicality of it all. But yo that spirit, that energy, that’s what is most attractive.” And I recognize for me. So I think sometimes the trials is navigating the space with people who are not authentic like that. And so that’s some of my issues that how I faced in this world.

GRACIE

I love that you started from within. I love that you didn’t make it about the external challenges and for me and my journey of being positive, it was always, it was for me also to like more of the internal than it was the external, because it all starts from within. And at times our outer and our external reality is only a reflection, a mirror reflection of what’s going on internally. So regardless to not to say that, you know, it’s unfortunate that some trans, there are a lot of trans women disproportionately go through the hardships and the evilness of the world. But I do feel that it also, aside from that, that there’s a lot that goes on within our inner world that like brings about this chaos. So I love that you start from within.

NEVERENDING NINA

Yeah. It starts from within, because that means no one can take it from you. And so a lot of us in our universal journey, you’d had to make the decision to say, “I’m gonna go on this journey of exploration. I’m gonna figure out what is this thing that makes me. I’m not this, I’m not quite this. I think I’m right here in the middle or maybe to the right or left, but I’m right there.” And so deciding that for your own self will make you know that no one can take that from you. When you finally get to that understanding of saying, “Hey, I’m a trans woman. Hey, I’m a black, powerful, trans woman. Hey, I’m a powerful black trans man.” Like knowing that allows you to navigate any space more truthfully. And then you know that no matter what somebody tells you, that’s their stuff, not yours because you’ve already done the work to navigate fully in your full autonomy, in your full authenticity, and so I think that’s the one thing I must say about our community is that no matter what, even though we might have our inner dialogues and the things that we might go through, but we still have this concrete understanding of saying, “This is how I’m going to show up in the world for my existence.”

GRACIE

Showing up and taking space.

NEVERENDING NINA

Showing up, taking space and doing what I need to do.

GRACIE

And speaking of navigating, how has your journey been navigating the music industry as an artist and member of the LGBTQ and queer community?

NEVERENDING NINA

I tell everyone is that I’m grateful for my upbringing, far as cultivating my talent, that was given. And so now it’s navigating the business, the industry, the entertainment aspect of it. And so that I didn’t have a lot of, if we’re going to specific, I didn’t have a black trans woman who was navigating the music industry as a blueprint. I didn’t know of any in that space. I knew in , I knew some drag Queens, I knew some gay males, I knew some gay feminine artists or androgynous artists, but I never fully had that example. And so I think that the newness and the freshness of discovering and navigating in this spaces that it’s yours of what you make it, whatever you want it to be. And so that’s been the journey going into spaces, them recognizing talent, and then they say, “Oh, well, you know why? You’re trans. So I don’t know if they’re ready for that yet.” And I’m like, “Okay, well I’m glad you told me.” Or the opposite is that we get in studio, we work, but then they, I guess, have a come to Jesus moment and saying, “Well, I don’t know if my brain can work well with how you show up.” And I’m like, “Wow.”

GRACIE

What about me showing up with my talent?

NEVERENDING NINA

Particularly in our field, particularly in entertainment is that we know that it’s a biased viewpoint because men have always been at the center of what goals and stays. And so having to navigate with this fierceness of I’m a film, so I want everything film around me. And so I want to make sure that when I’m navigating in this space, that I’m bringing everybody with me who didn’t have an opportunity or don’t have a chance.

GRACIE

But see not everyone is like you because we have a lot of gatekeepers. Not everyone wants to bring everyone on and bring everyone to be a part of it. So what has dating for you been like?

NEVERENDING NINA

You planned it right there. So that goes back to like, when you asked about navigating and so in the fullness of who I am, it’s like I know I have standards and I know that I’ve come a long way as far as knowing what I want around me. And so yes, I could pull any and everything that just wants to be just for my physical. And so a lot of us as the universally, we know how that feeling is for some might be cool with it, but I don’t wanna get poked and prodded just on my physicality. I want to feel the substance of this person. I want to be around you. I want to grow with you. I wanna take you out. I wanna show you to my family. I wanna show you to my friends. I wanna show you to the world.

GRACIE

Exactly.

NEVERENDING NINA

And so that’s what really tied into me creating my single “That One”, because when you listen to “That One”, which is available on all streaming platforms, “Neverending That One”, you can hear it in the lyrical content of what I want for a significant other. So I haven’t had a lot of dating experience because I know as a black trans woman, you don’t get a lot of opportunities to show up in these.

GRACIE

Listen, that’s a whole another show and a whole another topic. I think we need to come back and revisit that. On another note before we go really, really quick, who is your biggest and favorite artists, inspiration, singer song writer? Really quick.

NEVERENDING NINA

Randy.

GRACIE

Before we go, please take us out of here with some of your delicious notes.

NEVERENDING NINA

Sure. ♪ Prince charming ♪ ♪ We all know lives in fairy tales ♪ ♪ What I need ♪ ♪ Is a man determined not to fail ♪ ♪ Give me a king ♪ ♪ Who knows how to rule his domain ♪ ♪ ‘Cause his heart will be ♪ ♪ The place I will always remain ♪ ♪ If I had that one ♪

GRACIE

What a voice, what a voice. And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for being here today, Nina, dropping that knowledge and giving us a taste of that beautiful instrument. So much love for you. To watch this episode again, or for more stories like these, check out our website at pluslifemedia.com and also make sure to follow us @pluslifemedia. Until next time, speak up, speak out, and share your voice with the world.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: