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Becoming Nevada: living as your authentic self

By Michelle Sit Aboha

As part of LGBTQIA+ History Month, Verve is showcasing some inspirational student and staff stories

Nevada during one of her performances. Credits to: Nevada Lemon

The process that leads us to understand who we are can often be painful, characterised by many obstacles. 

This is not the case with the singer Nevada Lemon, who came out as trans last December. She now feels stronger and more powerful than ever before.

Lemon, 26, is an Italian singer and performer based in London, who used to be known under the pseudonym Regulus Red. She decided to reveal her new name – and gender – during a performance at the Hoxton Underbelly in 11 Hoxton Square, on the 15th of December.

I felt I was born again. I never thought I’d lose anyone because I believe that my power is my music, not my name or my clothes. It’s what I say, not who says it.”

Despite being an artist, she doesn’t consider art as the main tool that led her to define herself.

“I believe that art is subjective, so any definition of it feels restricted and not in alignment with myself,” she said.

“Art to me is everything I do, every day of my life. But I do believe that art and creative expression help marginalized communities to have a voice.”

Healthline says that art is a powerful way to reflect on and share lived experience. It also “becomes a fundamental instrument for building community and practising self-care in the face of ongoing discrimination,” it said

The past

Lemon made her debut on the music scene by publishing her first song, Metallic Dreams, on Youtube almost two years ago.

“This song has haunted me for years without me even knowing it, until one night, under the brightest moonlight, I felt the darkness entering me. I knew this story had to be told.”

Then, she reached her success in April 2020 with her single High Price, which has garnered more than 20.000 views on Youtube.

Today

Nevada. Credit to: Nevada Lemon

Even if her songs are still available on Youtube, everything related to Regulus Red has been deleted from her Instagram page.

“I felt like, having come out as transgender, I needed a fresh start. I could not handle being perceived and seen by the world as someone I am not anymore,” she said.

“My previous music videos are still online on Youtube but eventually, I will delete them. I completely do not regret anything I have done, every little experience I went through brought me to where I have to be now, so I am grateful. I am just a believer that it’s important to keep evolving and never look back.”

Regarding the choice of her current name, she said: “Nevada came to me in a dream. A horse my friend bought was named Nevada. To me, it means as much as your name might mean to you. It’s a sequence of sounds you get used to when you interact in society. Nothing more, nothing less. Nevada is my legal name and part of my artist name now.”

What next?

Lemon said that her future plan consists in realising her first single as Nevada Red and coming back to perform soon.

“When I perform I feel alive like I could never die. I am a divine vessel for energetic expression, I am an engine of love.

“They will be much more in tune with my inner self, my truest self. They will be different because every day we evolve. Nothing I’ve created could be replicated similarly on another day. It’s how creation and artwork, according to me.”

Lemon went clearly through a metamorphosis that gave her the opportunity to be who she is today, like a rising phoenix who is starting to live as her authentic self for the first time.

Nevertheless, many people are still struggling when it comes to taking important decisions, especially when they are related to gender.

She said: “Follow your heart, every night and every morning. What is your heart saying to you? Follow it.”

*London Met is proud to welcome everyone and is dedicated to ensuring equal opportunities for all, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, and other sexual orientations. Come along to our LGBTQIA+ Society and see how YOU can fit in – here is the link: https://www.londonmetsu.org.uk/organisation/lgbtqsociety/.