I usually let things like this pass without speaking up about it. For two years I’ve trudged through it all with a smile, so hopefully I’ll get a pass for speaking up on my behalf this time. It would be nice if any other aspect of my life/work as an artist/advocate got a fraction of the press I get for wearing a bathing suit by gay media.
And no, this is not a “message to the ‘haters,'” but a message for those at all interested in what I have to say about me.
I have carved a unique path for myself as an artist/performer. My album debuted at #3 on Billboard’s Independent Albums Chart last March. I’ve performed on National TV & in front of live audiences all over the world. I ran the most successful music Kickstarter campaign by an artist never signed on a label. I broke download records on bandcamp.com for my first song without management or a label. I’ve been sent overseas by the U.S. State department where I spoke out for LGBTQ rights and gave master classes to music students about the business from the perspective of an Independent artist. I’ve done more benefit concerts for the community than I can remember. I travel with live musicians despite it being far less profitable so that my fans get the very best show from me. I’ve never not stopped to take a picture with a fan, even when my meet and greets go beyond 2 hours. I’ve been so fortunate to connect with people in the very unique and special ways only singer/songwriters can and am forever grateful to my fans who have made it all possible! And I continue to invest every last cent into my work to the point of my own personal and financial detriment.
And a few more random thoughts…
Outside of my work as an artist/performer/advocate, I am a colorful, complex, deeply flawed, ever-evolving young man just happy to barely make enough doing what I love to get by. I am most energized when I am performing live, but other times, I would do just about anything to be invisible. I am nuanced, sensitive, and reflective, but on stage I am loud, confident, and in control. I am not simple. I am layers of apparent contradictions. I struggle in silence from crippling anxiety and depression that sometimes keeps me from leaving my bed altogether, but I also enjoy moments of incredible lightness and freedom. Nothing about me is black and white. I am every clashing, screaming color of intensity. I don’t believe in god, but I believe that human connection can be so powerful, it can feel supernatural. My capacity to love deeply is mirrored only by my ability to hurt and feel pain. I hate being made to feel like a victim but even more, hate to feel misunderstood. I feel so much compassion for my LGBTQ brothers and sisters, many of whom are damaged in all kinds of ways from the world we were brought up in, but I feel so much anger for the way I see how quick we are to judge and hurt one another. I have worked very hard for many years to do what I do, but I also recognize I have been very privileged in many ways. I love learning about the universe because it makes my life and my life’s respective worries and fears seem so small and insignificant. I don’t believe any person is any better or worse than the next. I want to find some peace and relief in this life that can often be so senselessly cruel.
Thank you for your continued love and support and for making all of this possible to begin with. Forever grateful to each and every one of you.”