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Maddie Zahm’s New Single Has Us All Crying On TikTok

Maddie Zahm released her much anticipated single, “You Might Not Like Her,” on June 15, 2022. Zahm has been building up excitement for the release on TikTok over the past few weeks and, while lesbians are thirsty for a lot of things, this single is most certainly one of them. I don’t want to be too lighthearted about this song, though, because it fills a void for so many in our community.

We first heard of Zahm in 2018, when she appeared on American Idol and made it to the solo rounds. Zahm has gone through huge changes since the show, one of them being coming to terms with her sexuality. During her TikTok live on June 15, 2022, a viewer asked if she was dating a guy or a girl, after she alluded to a relationship. Zahm was quick to enthusiastically state that it was obviously a woman, and added that she hadn’t gone through all this trouble of coming out just to date a guy. Although Maddie hasn’t been keen on giving her sexuality a label, the innuendo makes it pretty clear that Zahm prefers women. 

Maddie Zahm sings to a younger version of herself in the powerful music video for, “You Might Not Like Her.”

In “You Might Not Like Her,” Zahm wrote a letter to herself, which she initially did not intend to share, but was coaxed to do so and changed her mind. The lyrics lovingly tell the younger versions of herself that they might not like her, but the current Maddie does. Even before the entire song was released, it has become the TikTok anthem for late-in-life lesbians and women who left religious doctrine to be themselves. 

A whole community is forming up around Zahm and this song because the lyrics are resonating with women who’ve just come out and women who’ve long been out alike. “You Might Not Like Her,” is Number 4 on iTunes Songs Chart, at the time of this publication on June 16, 2022. An amazing debut!

Before we heard the entire song, these were the words offering a catharsis to herself, a wounded girl trapped inside Christianity, who was hurting deeply:

“Someday you’ll kiss a girl, and you’ll panic / Some guy will break your heart, and you’ll feel manic / Then you’ll learn to let people have their opinions / And talk about your traumas / And like the body you live in. Someday you’ll learn to keep your own secrets / Say you’re doing okay and really mean it / You’ll lose your faith a bit and question if she’s you / And for a while, you might not like her / But I do.” 

Zahm goes on to end the song, “Someday you’ll think you disappoint your parents / But they’ll love you not despite but regardless / And you’ll learn to let people have shitty opinions / And talk about your traumas / And like the body you live in.” 

She has admitted that she only recently came out to her parents, out of necessity, because she couldn’t hide the songs she was writing anymore, all of which were about her Sapphic life.

In the current culture of healing your inner child, this song is striking a nerve in the best of ways. Zahm feels like all of us in the lesbian community. There is something about her that is just so relatable. Maybe that’s because there is something within these honest lyrics that we can grasp, on a visceral level, even if we have a very different story from the song. It resonates on a soul level to anyone who found coming out to be anything but easy. 

During Zahm’s TikTok live on the evening of June 15, 2022, after a full day of her fans listening to her newest song on repeat, Zahm sang an acoustic version of “You Might Not Like Her,” as well as other songs from her upcoming EP and a heartbreaking song she just wrote. The common theme? Her life as a woman-loving woman. 

Everything Zahm writes is so very raw and real. If I had to invent a genre for Zahm it would be Lesbian Catharsis — it’s so beautiful and clearly so needed, as evidenced by the ripples she’s already creating and the thousands of women who have shared her song on TikTok while crying and smiling along to the lyrics that they feel so deeply but didn’t have the words for themselves. Zahm is entirely vulnerable in everything she shares on TikTok, which only adds to the ability to relate to her and feel like she’s someone we can all consider as a friend or sister.

Makenzie shared, responding to Zahm commenting on her video, “I just jumped around in my kitchen to this on repeat and worshipped freely for the first time in 10 years. Thank you for sharing the story of many 🤍”

One of my personal favorite parts about this bleeding-heart anthem by Zahm, is that it’s not about hating God, it’s simply about self acceptance and self love. This isn’t a ‘throw it all away,’ message but instead a message of grace. Zahm doesn’t once indicate that anyone need to turn their backs on a relationship with God, she only asks that we do better, for ourselves and for others. Loving others and ourselves is the divinity. I think that’s where the true maturity in this song lies, her ability to reach that place of healing where she isn’t angry and looking for a villain, she just wants to let herself know that it’s okay.

Zahm’s full EP, also titled “You Might Not Like Her,” is expected to be released on Aug 12, 2022.

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