Bear with me for this pretty much stream of consciousness post that has nothing to do with running (I just do even less with the non-running blog, so…). I will fully admit up front I may seem to contradict myself , change my mind, or hell, it may not even make sense.
In a lot of ways it’s getting to be better and better (or more and more equal really) to be LGBTQ with now more states having marriage equality than not, in the United Methodist Church while we’re still pretty much “issues” Frank Schaeffer won in front of the equivalent of the UMC supreme court and gets to keep his credentials AND the Council of Bishops while not really reversing anything has stated out loud that “we are not of one mind” regarding human sexuality. It’s baby steps, but it’s progress.
And then today we get word early that country singer Ty Herndon has come out. When I saw it, I couldn’t help but flash back to when Chely Wright came out and while many embraced her, the essential silence from Nashville was deafening. I made the comment when linking to the article about Herndon that it would be interesting to see what the reaction to this is in comparison. Will he be funding his next album via kickstarter or will he still have a label behind him was what I was mainly thinking of. (Don’t misunderstand – I absolutely adore Chely and love that all of us who are fans are such an integral part of making her next album happen. I’m just saying it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens with Herndon and his career.)
What I did NOT expect when I clicked onto Facebook when I got home was to discover that hot on the heels of Herndon coming out, another male country singer, Billy Gilman, has also come out.
Do not misunderstand me. I am thrilled that more people in the public eye are being true to who they are – especially in the world that country music inhabits. Here are two more people whose fans can never say they don’t know someone who is LGBTQ (even if “just as a fan” – though having lived in Nashville and been there (though not at) what used to be called FanFair, the fan/star relationship in country can be far more personable than pretty much all other genres with the possible/probably exception of Broadway), and that’s awesome. And also, I am not faulting anyone for waiting until they felt safer about doing it to come out.
I am saying it’s going to be very interesting to keep an eye on this as the next days and weeks unfold. Are more male country singers going to come out? Are any of the other female country singers ever going to come out? Statistically there must be at least a few more. (Not pressuring anyone to do anything other than strongly think about what kind of message your silence might be sending…but do what you need to do for you.) And beyond that, how is the country music community – fans, execs, and other singers and musicians – going to react to this.
Before I started writing, I almost looked on google or yahoo entertainment or something to see if anyone else has…I didn’t, but I did look at facebook and didn’t see anything.
So… Yeah… Just some random musings about stuff. I’ll try my hardest to get some running stuff posted soon.