A GoPride Interview


NOAHFINNCE grows up on the road

Mon. April 15, 2024  by Jerry Nunn

I am incapable of keeping my mouth shut about everything I feel!


photo credit // corinne cumming.

NOAHFINNCE talks backstage at Bottom Lounge

British singer NOAHFINNCE grew up on the Internet and that fact has affected his life in many ways. Noah Finn Adams was born in England and was raised by parents who were music fans. After posting cover songs online, he released his first single “Asthma Attack.” His album Growing Up On the Internet debuted last month and this month a documentary was released to promote the project.

Noah’s personal journey has been a process and he first came out publicly as trans then bisexual. The musician has also been open about his mental health challenges which has endeared him to fans from around the world.

He chatted backstage at Bottom Lounge about life on the road and human rights advocacy before his sold-out show.

JN: (Jerry Nunn) Growing up, did you always want to be a musician?

NF: (Noah Finn) I grew up surrounded by music. My mother was in a covers band playing Fleetwood Mac’s music as well as many other people’s music. My dad had an insane vinyl collection, so I learned to fall asleep at 2 a.m. when he was finished playing his records.

I have always been into music and it has been ingrained in me since birth. My mom said I would start crying if I didn’t hear Green Day on the way to preschool.

I got drum lessons when I was 10 years old and started teaching myself guitar when I was 14. Fall Out Boy was what I listened to during my emo phase.

JN: I’ve interviewed bassist Pete Wentz a few times.

NF: He was one of my first crushes!

JN: He’s an excellent crush to have because he’s very good-looking in person. Where are you from in England?

NF: I grew up in a small village called Sunningdale, which is 40 minutes from London.

JN: What were the villager's general feelings about the LGBTQ+ community?

NF: Sunningdale was quite a conservative area. I didn’t think I knew any other LGBT people, but turns out every friend I had as a child was gay. I just didn’t know it at the time.

I went to small schools, then I went to a boarding school. They were conservative so there was no speaking about LGBT stuff unless it was derogatory. I didn’t know what being trans was until I was 14 years old, then everything fell into place.

I didn’t come out until I finished boarding school because it wouldn’t have been great for me at that time in my life.

JN: Kim Petras knew when she was two years old. When did you start feeling different?

NF: While I didn’t know what trans was I did know when I was four or five years old. I thought boys peed by squatting over the toilet, so I would squat over the standup toilet in the bathroom facing the wrong way. One of my earliest memories is my dad walking in and asking what I was doing.

JN: It’s like your brain always knew on some level.

NF: Yes, that is what I try to explain to people that my brain was hardwired this way. but it took me to know what trans was to understand myself better. Up until then, it was hard. I remember sitting down with my mother where she told me I would be starting to have my period and would grow boobs. I didn’t believe her because I knew it was something I didn’t want to happen.

It was not something where puberty had gross things involved with it. It was much more than that. It felt fundamentally not me. I always had that feeling and not something I realized later in life. I sometimes didn’t have the language to explain how I felt.

JN: I work in healthcare currently and the medical world is still figuring things out.

NF: I feel we are in a weird point in time where the UK is getting worse. They just released a study called the Cass Review where all trans reports are disregarded because they see it as being biased. In one area 101 out of 103 studies were dismissed. None of them were from general studies that would be acknowledged anywhere in the scientific community, but now the prime minister has come out to say he will only approve people over the age of 25 years old to transition and welcomes this report.

JN: Puberty hits way before age 25 so that is too late.

NF: When someone is trans and watches other people go through puberty that in itself is traumatizing. People that don’t experience have no way of understanding what it is like. I knew who I was before I knew the word for it. It’s just like gay boys that have little boy crushes. People don’t suddenly know who they are when they turn the age of 21. It is not an age thing. It is an identity thing. It’s part of who you are as a person. There is no age limit as to when you know yourself.

JN: That is why your story is so important and other people need to hear it, so thank you for sharing it.

NF: I am incapable of keeping my mouth shut about everything I feel! [laughs] I never intended to be a spokesperson. I just tell the truth to people.

JN: Well, keep going. Did you find your tribe through the Internet?

NF: Yes, absolutely. It’s why my album is called Growing Up On the Internet. There was one out gay person at the boarding school that I attended. He didn’t choose to come out. He was outed. There wasn’t anyone like me at school so that is why I was so drawn to the Internet. It’s where I found my community and my friends at the time. From the age of 15 until now, most of the friendships that I have made were found online and at concerts. I had to seek them out instead of falling into them like many people do.

I am 24 years old now and things continue to change. I know kids that go to similar schools who have an LGBT club now and that was not even spoken about in my school. It was not even referenced in the religious school where I went.

The online community has always been there for me when times were tough. You can find anyone online to match your experiences no matter what the situation is. My generation is kind of a guinea pig because no one knows the repercussions of having access to everything.

I don’t know who I would be without the Internet because it helped me understand myself and find resources that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

JN: There was no Internet when I was your exact same age.

NF: How did you find other people like you?

JN: In person, but it was difficult and dangerous sometimes. Did you learn to play instruments through the Internet?

NF: I took drum lessons then taught myself guitar, bass and ukulele as well. I want to teach myself piano, but I haven’t had time yet. I did teach myself “Bella’s Lullaby” on the piano though.

JN: Well, that’s a start. Who is your favorite queer singer?

NF: Laura Jane Grace from the band Against Me! is my favorite. When Transgender Dysphoria Blues came out in 2014 I remember getting goosebumps. She is not only trans but also in the punk space, which is so badass!

JN: I interviewed Laura a few years ago. Your management should try to book you for Riot Fest in Chicago where Against Me! has played in the past. Yungblud also performed at that music festival and he reminds me of you.

NF: I love Yungblud!

JN: Talk about the inspiration behind the track “I Know Better.”

NF: I wrote that when I felt myself heading towards a breakdown. I was using unhealthy coping mechanisms because I wasn’t sleeping well or eating enough. I wasn’t looking after myself and I didn’t care enough to try.

That’s what I wrote that song about. There’s a deep, personal story behind it and I love that song.

JN: Is it triggering for you to perform some of these songs?

NF: No. By the time I write the song, change the lyrics and adjust the instrumentation it is a few days later so I have time to process it. There’s enough time between writing it and performing it I actually get excited to play it. It always sounds so good when I play it live.

JN: Your song “Scumbag” is about TERFs [trans-exclusionary radical feminists]?

NF: Yes.

JN: What are your thoughts on Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s beliefs?

NF: Rowling is behind lobbying and changing trans sports. She has donated thousands of pounds to anti-trans charities and anti-trans politicians.

JN: I didn’t know she was doing that.

NF: Yes and that is why I wrote the song. TERFs will hide behind the guise of protecting children and wrapping it around sports. Some people will think Rowling is just being silly on Twitter when she is actually behind changing laws in the UK.

JN: What is she getting out of this whole thing and where are her beliefs coming from?

NF: I have no idea, but I feel she is around too many extremists. She was praised for her charity work before this and now if she hears about a group being anti-trans she stands with them. I have seen her go from being a hero to being the opposite of a hero.

JN: She’s a “Scumbag!”

NF: Yes and that is what the song is about. It’s about people hiding their hatred of trans people behind invalid concerns.

JN: Why do you think trans people are being targeted like this?

NF: I feel it is the same thing that happened to gay people in the ‘80s and they are using the same arguments such as calling them pedophiles and telling them to use a different bathroom. It’s just with a different demographic and there is less societal backing for trans people.

It’s annoying to see it going on and not being able to do anything about it. I just hope people will come to their senses.

JN: Let’s switch gears and talk about merchandise. Do you have a favorite piece of merch that you sell?

NF: We started selling Pride flags for the first time with this tour and people love them. We have trans and rainbow flags.

I come up with the concepts and designs for all of the merchandise and then I send it off to an artist because I don’t know how to use Photoshop. There’s a recurring character in my music videos called Mr. Rat which started with my song “Stupid.” It was a song about my boyfriend but I didn’t want to make the video about him because I find that cringe to be lovey-dovey. I fall in love with a rat instead.

My favorite art piece we are selling is Mr. Rat riding a tricycle while being chased by a raccoon. It is so random!

JN: What are your plans for Pride month?

NF: I realized I was trans before I realized I was bi, so I grew up as a girl thinking I was straight. I knew it was something more than that. I was always drawn to the LGBTQ+ community and felt it was part of me, but didn’t realize why until I found out what being trans was.

I realized I was trans as a teenager and then bi when I was 21. That was because I was traumatized by my own body. I was so disgusted by my body that I couldn’t find those parts attractive on someone else's body until I had top surgery.

Up until recently, Pride was something that I didn’t really experience because being trans wasn’t something I was proud of. It was something that I dealt with and it made me miserable. My level of dysmorphia was insane. Many people speak about trans joy and I love that for them, but for me, it was something that I struggled with.

In terms of Pride, it wasn’t something that I wanted to wear on my chest. I never wore trans colors when I went to a Pride parade. I usually wore a rainbow flag instead.

This all changed for me after I realized I was bisexual. Now that I have transitioned and the anti-trans legislation I feel more comfortable speaking up about it.

I am so busy this summer and not sure what I am doing for Pride yet. I feel like Pride in the UK has become a rainbow capitalism thing where there are sponsors who are not really LGBT-friendly the majority of the year. For me, London Pride is a bit capitalist, which sounds cynical…

JN: You are not the only person who feels that way and many others do.

NF: It is fun for me to attend Pride and hang out with friends, but it doesn’t feel like a protest for me. Trans Pride Brighton is a very gay area down by the seaside and is more of a protest. It is set up by the community and feels different, so I will try to go there.

JN: The communities still seem very divided don’t they?

NF: The difference between people’s reactions to finding out I am bi compared to people finding out I am trans is wild. I feel it is more powerful to represent being a trans man. I just wish Pride was more of a protest and it started off that way.

JN: We still have a long way to go. Large companies are still cautious about supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

NF: I get approached by brand names from companies and I have noticed a big difference after anti-trans legislation has come out. I am getting less than half the offers that I used to. Some companies are being super careful and don’t help out trans people as they should.

JN: What are your plans for the rest of the year otherwise?

NF: I have two more shows on this tour with Chicago today and Minneapolis tomorrow. We are selling out which is exciting. I fly back to the UK to take two weeks off and then I go back in the studio to work on an extended version of the album.

There will be some festivals this summer and maybe a few one-off shows, then a headlining tour in the UK later in the year. This year has really been insane!


Interviewed by Jerry Nunn. Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.