Here in the U.S., it is National Coming Out Day (and speaking of special days, yesterday was World Mental Health Day, not Mental Health Awareness Day – I hope the people of the internet can forgive my faux pas (it took me three tries to correctly spell that word)) – and I just realized I have no idea how to use parenthesis within parenthesis, but moving on to National Coming Out Day. You never owe someone an explanation as to your orientation(s), romantic or sexual, but if you chose to come out today, more power to you! And if someone came out to you today and you offered them support, you are a beautiful human being, and the person who came out to you is feeling on top of the world right now. I came out to my 65 year old, conservative, evangelical Christian father as asexual and homoromantic via a letter, and despite the fact that I have midterms approaching and a hectic work week next week, what he is doing at this very moment keeps creeping into my mind, and coming out in some way shape or form seems to be all I can think about today. Over the past week whilst writing, revising, and generally agonizing over my tell-all letter, I found myself listening to the same group of songs to calm down; this morning I compiled them into a Marvelous Queer Playlist – yes, that is actually what I named said playlist. Some of these songs have little to nothing to do with being queer, but I personally find them calming/empowering.
- “Girls/Girls/Boys” by Panic at the Disco
While I do not label myself as bisexual/romantic, this is still a delightful song with a danceable beat and dangerously catchy lyrics. Namely, the line, “Love is not a choice,” helps to ground me.
2. “Hey Jesus” by Trey Pearson
This one may come across as surprising. Trey Pearson was signed to a Christian rock label and he was married to a women for many years until he came out. His coming out essentially made it impossible for him to stay in Christian music, and he likely knew this was going to happen. Though he knew coming out was going to change his life, not entirely in good ways, he went ahead and did it. Whenever anyone in the public eye comes out, I am filled with inspiration, but someone working in the Christian music industry having the insane courage to come out fills me with awe. The song is a bit somber, but I, as a proud Christian and a proud homoromantic, find myself heavily relating. The song was released on Trey’s first solo album, and though I find don’t find myself listening to it as much, an incredibly catchy, considerably more upbeat song of his is “Love is Love”.
3. “Elastic Heart” by Sia
This is another slightly somber one, but it’s still encouraging. For me, it’s a reminder that even if not everyone is so agreeable about my queerness, I will be okay, even if it hurts for a time. “You won’t see me fall apart . . . ’cause I’ve got an elastic heart.
4. “Black Sheep” by Gin Wigmore
Though this in no way directly relates to being queer, honestly listening to it just makes me feel like a badass. Gin Wigmore is severely underrated.
5. “Anything’s Possible” by Lea Michelle
I feel like the lyrics in the picture above are pretty self explanatory, but some more I love are, “It’s time to leave it all behind/ It’s time to pick up the pieces of my scattered mind/ And after all my petals fall / I can finally find beauty beneath once and for all/ I’ve spent way too long judging myself/ Running from truth into someone else’s arms/ But I’m done, the battle’s begun, the battle’s begun/ There’s fire in me, deep down in my veins/ These clouds in my head, they’re not gonna rain/ There’s fight in my heart, there’s hope in my eyes/ There’s hope in my eyes.” Those lines are pretty much perfect for my life right now. I am trying hard too move out of my passivity and fear and actively stand up for the marginalized while being proud of parts of myself that everyone seems to think can’t be reconciled – namely, my faith, the fact that I want a romantic relationship with a woman, and the fact that I do not experience sexual attraction.
6. “You Make Me Brave” by Bethel Music and Amanda Cook
“You make me brave/ you call me out from the shore into the waves . . . ./ no fear can hinder now the promises you’ve made”. It has taken a lot of praying to discern if I should have come out to my parents, and this song is a great reminder that though I feel God is leading me into a dangerous ocean, he will give me the courage I need to get through.
7. “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga
This is a fun, feel good song that specifically mentions Lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender. While I am a bit sad a way couldn’t be found to mention queer people – or, in a perfect world, asexuals and pansexuals – without interrupting the beat, I still found myself listening to this habitually to help my coming out anxiety and remind me of why I have to do what I have to do.
8. “Be Still” by Hillsong Worship
Psalm 46:10 is my favorite Bible verse, and its not surprise that I would love a song based off it. In this crazy, anxious world, the reminder to be still and trust that my God is in control is incredibly soothing. The live version of this song gives me goose bumps, and was perhaps the most calming song to me this past week.
9. “Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves
Hearing an LGBT supportive country song is so incredibly refreshing, and not only is this song queer friendly, but it points a finger at societal hypocrisy with lyrics such as, “If you save your yourself for marriage you’re a bore/ If you don’t save yourself for marriage you’re a whore-able person” and encourages freedom of choice in just about every area of life; all this, not to mention it’s chill beat, make it a gem of a song.
10. “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel Music, Jonathan David, and Melissa Helser
Same may think it odd that a Christian song has become my coming out anthem of sorts. The above artistically rendered lyric connects with me on a personal level; I will no longer hide my sexual and romantic orientations from those I care about to avoid conflict, and I am as much a child of God as any straight person. I remember the morning before I came out to my mother as homoromantic, when I was shaking with fear and doubting my decision to follow through, this song came to mind, and I was soon sobbing while choking out the lyrics, “You split the sea so I can walk right through it/ My fears are drowned in perfect love/ You rescued me so I can stand and sing/ I am a child of God”. It was so, so therapeutic, and restored my resolve. No more shame, no more hiding, no more fear. I am not meant to live a life ruled by fear.
11. “She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert
Known as the “Queer Anthem of 2013”, this song combines reconciliation of spirituality and orientation – “I’m Not Cryin’ on Sundays” and a breathtaking chorus of, “Love Is patient, love is kind” – with pride in ones orientation, “I can’t change, even if I tried/ Even if I wanted to” and is just generally a beautiful work of art. Not to mention the music video is adorable – and yes, the featured image is a shot from the video.
Well, that’s the musical encouragement I have been receiving this week. Hope everyone can find at least one song they enjoy in the list. Feel free to mention in the comments what songs you find encouraging, or any songs you know that specifically reference any/all things LGBTQIA+. Just because National Coming Out Day is coming to and end doesn’t mean you can’t still come out to someone you’ve been meaning/ wanting to. Timing is everything, and if the timing wasn’t right today, don’t beat yourself up. Again, if you offered someone who was making a big jump today a soft place to land, thank you.
Until next time,
Keep oooon Aceing It!