“The way I’ll remember 2020, and the way I got through it, was leaning on the value of camaraderie.”
By Juno Kelly.
2020 had many of us equating the state of the world with the apocalypse; COVID-19 swept across continents, recordings of police brutality made it clear that racism is as rampant as ever, and the climate crisis continued to loom with no steadfast solution. The year also introduced extensive stretches of time at home, often alone. Introspection ensued, alongside distraction in the form of memes, baking, and indulgence in some less than wholesome vices.
As the year ends, we decided to reach out to some of the talent featured in Mission’s #LGBTQIA+ issue, to find out what got them through one of the most “unprecedented” years on record.
Maxim Magnus, model.
“First, what got me through 2020 is the support of my friends around me. This year has been about shedding negative energy. I tried to focus on staying creative and finding what evokes emotion and passion inside me. I listened to music and watched countless TV shows. Aside from that, it was reading the news every day, trying to sign petitions, donating, and educating myself on everything going on in the world, something I didn’t take as much time for previously. It’s been a wild ride but, in my opinion, a necessary one. This year happened for a reason and let us not forget and just move on like nothing happened.”
Bryce Anderson, model and artist.
“Movies and work got me through this year. I feel that the extreme alone time that this year has provided was able to give me a pin-hole focus on my goals. I think also watching the world kind of participate in this massive event and offer support to one another has been miraculous, relationships have got stronger because everyone let down their walls and opened up.”
Muffinhead, performer and self-professed “visual chef.”
“It was the creative impulse that kept me going through this year and into 2021. January started with me collaborating with a small art crew to finish my first short film BOOP, which soon became a crash course in editing, stop motion, and animation. In August, I launched Facebunny with my girlfriend Rose Martel out of my tiny Harlem NYC kitchen. The idea behind it is designing and producing face shields that are entertaining for children and adults, ignoring the disaster of the year that necessitated them. So, staying on the ball creatively helped me get through 2020, along with a stubbornness to not be outdone by one of the most surreal years on record.”
Daniel Lismore, designer and “London’s most eccentric dresser.”
“My family foremost got me through 2020. I spent the beginning of the year in my mum’s garden creating new work. Listening to all the artists, museums, and curators I know of helped me. I connected with the special people in my life and spent hours on the phone with them. Hope for a greener future got me through. I think 2020 was a wake-up call for many, it’s just the beginning of what is to come with regards to the climate crisis.”
Lewis Burton, performance artist and DJ.
“Something that got me through 2020 was doing a lot of internal work: self-reflection, self-care, and journaling. I used books such as Chani Nicholas’ You Were Born For This and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron as tools to do this. It made me think of who I am away from my life before the pandemic and gave me time to check in with myself and where I am.”
Joshua Rush, actor.
“Regardless of the good, and the (extensive) bad and ugly, I think we can all recognize 2020 as a year of unprecedented social change. From the Black Lives Matter protests, an autonomous zone springing up in Seattle, and the masses ousting a president, the way I got through 2020, was by leaning on the value of camaraderie. The support of a community ready to learn, grow, and demand change — and a community experiencing the pain of loss, 200,000 and counting. If necessity is the mother of invention, our strength in the face of adversity is the mother of solidarity, and I look forward to the continuation of that strength for the next 365 sunrises and beyond.”
Rain Dove, model and activist.
“I spent the first few months of 2020 working alongside disaster relief crews after the Australia fires, supporting indigenous sex workers in New Zealand, and with the parents of trans youth. When COVID-19 swept the globe, I found my inboxes flooded with tens of thousands of DMs from parents and kids trying to survive and navigate their identities. As someone who was homeless, the lockdowns didn’t bother me as much. One night I decided to start responding to folx again, and everything became clear. My purpose was to listen, hold, educate, and create art. That’s what got me through. The knowledge that our pain will one day be wisdom we can wield to save lives.
5 other things also pushed me through. 1: The entire series of Breaking Bad, Buffy, Misfits, Tiger King, and Sister Sister. 2: Decorating the plate when I cooked. 3: Dance parties twice a day even if I didn’t want to. 4: My awesome partner. 5: Making art.”
Summer Bedard, meme creator and OnlyFans entrepreneur.
“My therapist was the unsung hero of my year. She helped me face every major problem and disaster we’ve gone through. I also got back into crocheting which helped relieve my anxiety. Lastly, I’ve been on a quest to read as many lesbian fiction YA books as I could find! As COVID ramps up again and the government announces that it’s only giving us $600 in total to survive, and Instagram makes it against the rules to promote OnlyFans, my only source of income, it’s faith that’s getting me through. I have faith in humanity and a higher power that we will pull through this and be better for it somehow.”