Monday, November 7, 2011

My New Voice

Recent tragic events have served to give me, finally, my true voice. I've often written about gay teen suicide in my lyrics hoping, I guess, that someone, somewhere who was truly at risk would hear the songs and reconsider. Not enough. I took this particular suicide very personally even though if he were alive today, I wouldn't know him from the man in the moon. Doesn't matter. I know him now. He's directly and incredibly touched my life in a very deep way. To say "things will never be the same" is cliche at best, moot at the least. I can't say this any clearer or directly: I want gay teen (and, ANY teen!) suicide eradicated. And, I won't stop raising awareness...ever. That's my gift to you, Jamie Hubley, as a tribute to your life and as a thank you for giving me my voice.



  1. Hi,
    Do you know that thing when someone says: “I have loads of gay friends, and I’ve never had a problem”, how it has a subtly implied tone that gay people are somehow different, that they are not like everyone else, and that’s why it needs to be highlighted that they’re ‘not a problem’? Do you get what I mean about that?
    Well, in your sub heading, you say: “Teen suicide, regardless of their orientation, is a great tragedy”. The ‘regardless of orientation’ carries the implication that some people might think one less gay kid, by suicide, is a good thing. I wanted to point that out because it plays into their hands. If you defend your gayness, it shows there is something that needs to be defended. Standing out alone, by your own action, helps them separate you. I think all you need to do is highlight that it goes on, how to help it. Just feel you might be undermining yourself.

    Anyway, have a think about it.

    Best wishes,


  2. Hi Tim,

    I totally understand where you're coming from, but I have to disagree.

    Defending our "gayness" is more about visibility than differentiation. We can't ignore the fact that society is still heteronormative, and if we don't make the distinction, we risk being overlooked.

    Teen suicide is definitely an issue, but the issue we want to bring to the spotlight is that lgbt teens are committing suicide because of emotional harassment related to their orientation.
    If we were to say these teens' struggles are not different from other suicides, it's almost like saying the Little Rock Nine faced the same problems as any other 1957 high schoolers. It is to address the prejudice that we have to differentiate, not to undermine equality.

    People are at all different points along the range of acceptence. Some people really do need to be told "Hey, we are here! Yes, we exist." Other people need to be told that we're not different from them.

    Hopefully in the near future, everyone will accept lgbt people without ever needing to make the distinction. Love will be all-inclusive, marriage will be all-inclusive, and gender will be seen as a spectrum. But until that time comes, we have to recognise that prejudice exists. Disregarding it won't help. For now, we have to confront it and stand out in order to stand up.

    Hope that helped,