lesbian Music Arts & Entertainment

Tegan and Sara: The Queer Queens of High School

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For more than two decades, indie pop stars Tegan and Sara Quin crafted a mystique as the epitome of effortlessly cool. But, as it turns out, even the hip artists behind hits like “Walking With a Ghost,” “Closer,” and “Everything is Awesome” were once awkward teens navigating friendships, first loves, and broken hearts.The duo is featured on the first digital cover of Pride (a sister publication of The Advocate), where they talked about how, just like the rest of us, the Quins struggled through the discovery of their identities — in their case as twins, individuals, and queer women.

This makes their stories both unique to Tegan and Sara, as well as instantly recognizable to any queer kid growing up in the ’90s.The musicians expounded on these experiences in their 2019 memoir, High School, a story that’s now been adapted for TV and premiered this fall on Amazon Freevee.

Helmed by director and queer icon Clea DuVall (of But I’m a Cheerleader and The Happiest Season fame), it stars newcomers (and twins) Railey and Seazynn Gilliland as Tegan and Sara, respectively.Both in the book and the series, all the internal turmoil is set against the backdrop of ’90s culture, complete with grunge, raves, and one of the greatest musical soundtracks of all time (the show kicks off with Hole’s “She Walks on Me” and the hits just keep coming).

High School weaves in various perspectives including that of the girls’ parents and friends. It paints a picture of a very specific time and tells a universal story of confronting those confusing, painful, and often exquisitely beautiful adolescent years.

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