Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Same love, different audience

You've probably heard "Same Love," a song that advocates for gay rights. If not, take a listen:

Cool, right? Hip hop has a history of homophobia. It's nice that someone is using the genre to speak out against discrimination. Not everyone is feeling the love, though. Tyler Coates, a gay rapper, finds the whole thing kind of annoying.
I know it's OK to be gay. Most of those I know in the LGBT community know it's ok to be queer, too. And here’s a surprise for the heterosexual world: most of us didn't learn from you anything about understanding and appreciating ourselves.
It's understandable, his frustration. The gay community hardly needs Macklemore's validation. On the other hand—and Coates acknowledges this throughout his piece—"Same Love" isn't for out-and-proud gay people. "Same Love" is for heteros with homophobic tendencies. Bigots are generally more open to a message that opposes bigotry when it comes from somebody they consider to be one of their own.

I don't know how many people "Same Love" has reached. I don't know if anyone ever reconsiders strongly held prejudices because of a song. I do hope that at the very least, it will encourage straight allies to be more outspoken when they encounter bigotry.


Wendy Adams said...

I enjoyed this post very much. I am a fan of the song because, first, he is an amazing rapper. He made me enjoy rap which is something I do not typically listen to. Second, I believe that, as you said, this song is targeted toward straight advocates for change. A True homophobe would never give it the time of day. Also, the dude was just writing what he felt, like most songwriters. I, for one, think it's cool that he wrote how he felt about it and if that makes even one person reconsider being a hater then FANTASTIC!

Unknown said...

I LOVE this song. LOVE it. Even more than Thrift Shop, which is saying something.

I am not gay nor am I homophobic and in need of mind changing. But I am still the audience.

For me, this song is an artful, moving, BEAUTIFUL presentation of something that is so basic, so common sensical (and yes, I made that word up)that people who feel the same can easily and strongly identify with it. This song, the first time I heard it, was like a "YES! Exactly that!" moment for me.

Maybe people who feel differently will have pause to change their minds. The song is a valid piece of art either way.

Maybe LGBT folks don't need validation from straights, but maybe it's still nice to have? Especially given the legal and political implications of such support? A sort of there are more of us on your side, who GET this, than you might think.

Case in point, one of my friends who is the epitome of tough, bad ass biker "came out" as a straight dude who totally agrees with Same Love's message in a FB comment response to the link I posted of the live performance at the VMAs. You should read that. It is an eloquent, heartfelt, and amusing rant that he knew might be an unpopular opinion to express in other bad ass biker circles. But the song and the performance moved him. He is also the audience.

I have grown to LOVE Mary Lambert, the female vocalist and songwriter for the chorus/hook/melodic awesomeness, since being introduced to her through this song. She wrote an extended, full version of She Keeps Me Warm and recently released a video (that is like 4 minutes of pure, new love AWWWWWWWWW!!!!). Her blog about that experience is beautifully written and I think, though it refers to She Keeps Me Warm and not Same Love directly, addresses some of the issues you raise in this post.

In short (how very like me :) ), I feel BIG LOVE for Same Love.

Unknown said...

And that blog-length-post within a blog was mine, by the way. I am not unknown. :)

Big Hugs,

cinderkeys said...

Good points, good points. Songwriters write what they want to write, or it's hardly worth it. And when all is said and done, there's nothing wrong with preaching to the converted.