‘Terrible things happen, and it brings people closer. In our case, it brought my brother and I home.’
Erica Zigon, Babylon Village
“My mom had a stroke when I was 8 years old, and my brothers and I had to grow up fast. My grandma went out of her way to be like, ‘I’m going to take you guys in. You guys are going to live with me.’ She became my role model and my best friend. I remember being in high school, and I wouldn’t even want to go out because I’d want to sit at home and drink tea and watch ‘Jeopardy!’ with my grandma.
“Growing up on Long Island and being a part of the queer community was difficult. I worked hard to find my identity at a young age because when you’re on Long Island in a small town, it can be scary to be yourself.
I think the stars aligned for many reasons, and we had to go through a lot, but me and my brother are passionate about music, and we love performing for people.
“I didn’t come out until college, but now looking back, I feel like I could have come out to my grandma. She was so accepting and loving. She taught me to take care of the people around you and do right by everyone.
“When my mom and grandma passed away, I was in college and my brother was preforming music for a living in L.A. We decided to come back to Babylon in hopes of holding our family together. We always loved music, but that’s when we started writing music as a group.
“It turned into us becoming a duo and performing all over Long Island. I think the stars aligned for many reasons, and we had to go through a lot, but me and my brother are passionate about music, and we love performing for people. Terrible things happen, and it brings people closer. In our case, it brought my brother and I home.
“After late night shows, we love to go to the diner, either the Lindenhurst Diner or the Forum Diner … We get matzoh ball soup and just talk about the night and how the show went. I love when diners still have those little jukeboxes in the booths. It’s a plus when we get to sit there and play old records, you know?”
Interviewed by Maggie Melito