Mary Lambert is an Incredible Artist who Must be Heard

Last October a video hit YouTube and absolutely exploded. I intended to do a writeup about it back then but life was busy at the time and I just didn’t get around to it. The video was a single from the debute of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis‘s first full-length album, The Heist. It’s one of the best albums I’ve heard in a good while.

The video is titled, “Same Love,” and is about the experiences Macklemore, Ben Haggerty, encountered in his life in regards to homosexuality and how it has shaped his beliefs on equality. The song is amazing, giving me chills running across my arms as I remember back to scenes in the video.

Macklemore explained that the song also came out of his own frustration with hip hop’s positions on homosexuality. “Misogyny and homophobia are the two acceptable means of oppression in hip hop culture. It’s 2012. There needs to be some accountability. I think that as a society we’re evolving and I think that hip hop has always been a representation of what’s going on in the world right now.” Wiki

In the song you hear an incredible female vocalist named Mary Lambert. She is to me the Adele of America. Not just because they have a similar look but because their lyrics and voice are magnificently emotive and powerful. They sing from the heart, from their real-life experiences. They are each beautiful in their own right but it’s their powerful storytelling that stole my attention.

Portrait of Mary Lambert by Seattle photographer Lauren Colton.

Mary Lambert is a Seattle local, singer-songwriter and spoken-word artist. Her songs are known to tackle women’s issues and speak to a level of honesty and depth that few of her contemporaries have ever explored. Her songs remind me of those by Antony and the Johnsons without the orchestral flourishes. Go check them out as well. Continue reading

Jason Mraz on I Won’t Give Up

I’ve been a huge fan of Jason Mraz for the last eleven or so years. His music has always spoken to me and his personality on stage, in interviews and in person is as authentic and kind as anyone could hope him to be.

Anyways, his new album came out yesterday (link to download in the image above) as did an interview with CNN. I Won’t Give Up was the first single off of the album and when asked what the song was about Jason explained:

Traditional marriage between a man and a woman, and trying to put that into a law or a rule, is basically saying that gay people aren’t real. Well, gay people are very real. It is treating our gay and lesbian citizens like second-class citizens. I think it is the final step in the civil rights movement.

So that’s pretty cool. I’ll leave you now with the video for I Won’t Give Up.

Now if only we can get the loud minority of this country to agree with him.

The Gay Rights Movement

I just stumbled upon this video through a friend’s Facebook update and immediately felt compelled to share here. It’s a trailer for a documentary titled “Second Class Citizens” which you can sponsor via Kickstarter.

This documentary is something that is very near and dear to me; someone who is considered by my state and country a second class citizen. By extension, I am a second class citizen to all my friends and family members who continue to vote for people who fight against equality, donate money to organizations and churches who cast aspersions on who I am and look the other way all the while.

Explaining what it is like to be gay isn’t easy. I kept it a secret until I was 18 years old because I feared that I might be made a victim of harassment beyond what I was already experiencing in junior high and high school. I was so stressed out about being gay that I became physically ill; acid reflux, debilitating migraines, panic attacks & major depression.

If it wasn’t for the friends I made in college, I don’t know that I would have survived to be where I am today. Far too many people like me don’t make it through the bullying. They are commit suicide or are murdered because they or someone else was unable to accept the person they were born to be.

I can’t tell you the number of times I was verbally or physically harassed, my property vandalized and my life threatened. My first semester in college a neighbor in the dorms threaten to hang me in the stairwell because I was gay. Try explaining to your parents why you have to switch dorms when that is your reason. I never did because I never had the courage to do so.

Ryan James Yezak is hoping to produce a documentary titled “Second Class Citizens” and has created a Kickstarter campaign to help fund it. I implore you to check it out and if you find it worthy, to invest in his film. I am going to do that right now.

It’s Time to End Marriage Inequality

My Twitter friend Gabe retweeted a link tonight from @Padbury that simply read, “Please watch this, ‘It’s Time'”. I stopped what I was doing and decided to click the YouTube link. What followed was one of the best marriage equality videos I have ever seen. Zero dialog, remarkably real and absolutely magical. This is what matters.

Please share this post, this video, this message with the people in your life. Also, check out http://www.getup.org.au/marriagematters. There are half a dozen ways below this video to share this with all of your friends. Take this step for marriage equality.

That is all, thanks so much.

Tom Goss “Lover”

“Lover” tells a story very rarely told: of the loss endured by partners of gay servicemembers who are killed in battle.

The video features Goss as the bereaved partner of an army soldier (DC actor Ben Horen) killed while on duty in Afghanistan.

Among those playing medics who come to the aid of the wounded soldier are several former service members who were discharged under the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy: Mike Almy, David Hall, and Danny Hernandez, all of whom are active members of SLDN. Keith Bryant stars as a fellow soldier.

The video, Goss’s fourth, was filmed in DC and Alexandria. is being directed by DC residents Aram Vartian and Michael Key of DC; Dylan Comstock is director of photography.

KATG – Gay Marriage

Keith and The Girl logo
Image via Wikipedia

Keith and the Girl is one of my favorite podcasts, definitely my favorite comedy podcast, everyone, subscribe to their podcast now.

Ok, with that outta the way, Keith and the Girl (KATG) have gone to the airwaves to defend gays and advocate for gay marriage twice in a row.  Their commentary is not only hilarious, but also straight forward and honest.

[audio:KATG_Gay_Marriage.mp3]

I really couldn’t have put it better, or at least couldn’t have been as funny.  It’s one thing for a group of gay people to get together and stand up for their rights, or lack thereof.  To have four people regularly stand up for gay rights, 1 bisexual woman and three straight guys, means a lot more, at least to me.

Thanks for sticking up for us Keith and Chemda!

Disappointed that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will seem to continue under Obama along with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).  Both of these were major issues Obama fought for during the campaign.  I really want to get married some day.  Not for tax benefits but because I love someone and my church recognizes that love.

Sometimes America just disappoints me, but maybe this “Federal employees will get domestic partnership benefits” thing is an olive branch…

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