Marcus • Non-Binary Musician

Marcus is a non-binary musician who, in 2017, moved from Dallas, Texas to Denver to further their education. Today, they are a music publishing and copyright consultant for the independent record label, Free People Records. In their free time, Marcus also plays the keyboard in their band, the Faux Mantra. When Marcus isn’t engaged in music-related activities, they enjoy playing video games, reading graphic novels, and driving around Denver. To Marcus, exploring the city never gets old as there is so much to do and see.

During our conversation, Marcus expressed their disappointment regarding the lack of consideration for the Black and Brown LGBTQ+ community. They and I agree that all Black lives matter, and there needs to be more open-mindedness and acceptance for all, no matter who you are. When I asked Marcus to describe Denver in one word, they replied, “Beautiful.” Here’s what it means to be Marcus in Denver:

What does it mean to be Marcus?

To be me is to wake up and ask myself what I can do to make myself a more powerful queen. I wake up, think about what I have to do, put on my best outfit and strut confidently. Because why would I want to suppress who I am to make other people comfortable?

What does it mean to you to be Black in Denver?

To me, it means that there will inherently be subtle microaggressions thrown at us people of color, daily, being in a predominantly white populated state. Being someone who is openly queer and lived in the South for the majority of my life, I found that most heterosexual Black people were apprehensive about supporting queer people of color, and it was never something I got used to. Denver has by far had the biggest population of people of color who support and love one another and it has caused me to go from having almost no self-confidence to making the world my personal runway. I will be forever grateful for the experiences that I have had in this city. I’ve become a better person because of it.

What do you love most about living in Denver?

I love all of the wonderful, queer people I’ve met, the opportunities that I’ve been granted with my musical interests, and the weed. Haha!

How have your experiences in Denver shaped you?

They have caused me to love myself more and be comfortable in my own skin. They have given me a newfound confidence that I’ve never had in any other place I’ve lived in my entire life.

Tell me about being one’s true self.

The biggest thing is the influence that I have had on others by simply being myself. I am unapologetic in my authenticity. I am a beacon of light and a leader for the people that I care about. I’ve been able to help them accept who they are and not worry about what other people think about them.

What is the power of self-acceptance?

It’s essential for everyone. You have one life. If you spend your one life thinking about what other people think and conform to what they want to see from you, that’s a waste of a life. You only live once. Live it completely and unapologetically. Live life to the fullest!