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Pride Month 2023 | Ashli St. Armant

colorful flag with the words pride month: Ashli St Armant on the right hand side with a photo of a dark skinned woman on left


Happy Pride Month! To celebrate, we have asked for the perspective of a few of our season 23-24 artists that openly identify as LGBTQ+. Ashli St. Armant is a vocalist, actor, writer, art educator, and mother based in Los Angeles. Ashli is the creator/director of NORTH: The Musical coming, once again, to Chandler Center for the Arts in February of 2024. The debut of NORTH came to CCA last fall, co-commissioned by four performing arts centers across the U.S., including Chandler Center for the Arts!

In addition to her recent achievements in NORTH, Ashli is the founder of Leaping Lizards Music which is a music and theater education program for TK to 12th grade. Ashli tours with her band, Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards and have produced five albums featured in L.A. Times. Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons was Ashli’s debut middle school novel. We thought Ashli would be a great person to ask about her perspective in identifying as LGBTQ+ and how that has influenced her life as an artist.


What kind of perspective has being LGBTQ+ given you in your art? 

As author and priest Liz Edman says, queer is a virtue! Living queer has allowed me to see everything from a new perspective. Now that I realize that my sexuality doesn't have to follow any particular set of "rules", I've also reconsidered the way I think about spirituality, community, relationships, my ancestors, our collective history, and what it means to be human. All these reconsiderations have influenced the way I make art. 


What kind of barriers or difficulties have you faced because of your sexual identity? 

My queerness, along with my cultural background and my neuro diversity, means that I walk the earth from a pretty unique position. Unfortunately, that means that I have to take extra precautions to make sure that certain spaces are safe for me to enter, and some will not be safe at all! But, for the most part, I consider my multiple intersections to be my superpower. No one else can tell my stories like me! 


More About NORTH: The Musical