In prior posts, I have addressed the extracurricular dreams I once possessed as a kid. I wanted to be a triple threat; Actor/Singer/Rapper (you probably thought dancer, huh?) but none of those things alone ended up quite shaking out. However, I learned much about myself through participation. Plus, if Lin-Manuel Miranda ever comes calling for some bars, I’ve still got some party tricks up the old sleeve.
I spent a good amount of time as a kid in places similar to Lambert Hall, working on my own craft. As I passed the venue, I was struck by the multiple uses of the space, that coexistence was not only possible but collaborative in certain ways.
The knowledge of self and reflection I worked on in pursuing the arts, while beneficial, was never fully understood nor accepted by certain family members. I was not the typical southern male defined in the ways that they would expect. And, even to this day, I have tried to justify taking a higher road to maintain a relationship. But, in the process of learning how to express and convey emotion in the arts, that also means that I am not the full version of myself with the unaccepting family. I have instead learned how to navigate away from topics of depth and substance. I walk on eggshells and watch everything I say for fear that it will be used against me. So, dinners have become a basic check in of the weather and placated smiles.
There is a part of me that for years has felt hurt by this lack of relationship in various ways, but I am finally arriving at a place of accepting it. I have learned that I deserve to surround myself with people who will appreciate and accept me for who I am in full.
Which is partly why I wanted to showcase the song “Same Love” this week. There is the connection of the Lambert name as Mary Lambert is featured on the chorus of the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis tune. However, the song poignantly addresses the struggle that many LGBTQ+ individuals face. Specifically, the song was produced in a time where same sex marriage was being debated in the United States and a Supreme Court ruling in 2015 finally legalized the practice.
I do not dare to compare a couple of decades of feeling like the odd duckling in a family to the generations of discrimination that the LGBTQ+ community has and continues to endure. I would not want to minimize the contributions or the movement that it took to earn equal rights in the eyes of the law.
But, as June is Pride Month, I want to focus on two lines from the featured tune;
“Their kids are walkin’ around the hallway/
Plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful, some would rather die than be who they are/”
If this is something you identify with, I hope that you too have the strength to move past the judgement and use your voice as you see fit. I have been there and carried that shame for wanting something other than what has been expected. It is a deep hurt, known only by others which have once had to bear that burden.
It’s taken me 3 decades to realize that I can’t change who I am, even if I tried, even if I wanted to. And I refuse to be so tight lipped for others comfort. I may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m not here for a popularity contest.
The second line to focus on (and will serve as our outro this week) is actually a part of a bible verse;
“Love is patient, love is kind.”
Take care of one another. Until our next adventure!