My Coming Out Journey
I feel very lucky to have written music for most of my life. I wrote my first full song when I was in grade nine, but prior to this I would create sketches of songs. One thing is for sure, music has been as a beautiful counter point in my life. At every stage in my journey, music has been a fundamental and creative outlet for me, and in times of darkness, it has acted as a source of refuge and strength.
Coming out as gay was very difficult for me. I had to overcome adversities both personally and externally. Each of the songs on my “Lift Me Up” EP, were written during different stages of this process over the last six years. Writing music was how I processed things.
It’s clear in how I talk about love and the complex issues I was facing and each song reflect what I was experiencing at the time. It may interest you to know, that the songs go in reverse order to when I wrote them – “Puppet” being the most recent.
The oldest song, and one of my favourites on the album, is “Run,” which I wrote before I was even out. A lot of my fears about being in a relationship with a man are manifested in this song. During this stage of my life, I felt trapped. I was afraid about what being gay meant. How my friends and family would react. And what that meant for me. I was severely bullied in primary school even before I knew what being gay meant. In my adult life, coming to terms with this was very difficult. I went through an immense outpouring of bottled up grief and hurt. Who was I? The person I was, was in hiding. I was unexposed and lurking in the darkness of myself. My response to this fear, was to run. Escapism was a form of refuge.
I wrote “Human” after watching the film “Monster Pies,” which is about a teenage boy coming to terms with his sexuality. The story really touched me. Everything the main protagonist faced in his life, in my own way, I felt it. I related to it. After watching the film, I just sat and cried. I let it all out. That night I couldn’t sleep, I wrote “Human.”
“Lift Me Up” was the first song I wrote when I moved to Melbourne over two years ago. It was a transitional period for me. I was no longer chained by past experiences. I was letting go and I unleashed myself into a new world. I was free. “Lift Me Up” embodies this experience and captures the world I was in at the time. It doesn’t disregard the darkness I had experienced, it embraced it and I used it to frame the story. I reached up higher. I allowed myself to change. To shed my skin. Embracing change and focusing on who I wanted to be. I felt that I had the power to change my life and to free myself from conditioning that was holding me back. And for the first time, I wasn’t afraid to be human, allowing myself to be vulnerable.
Wasting Away I wrote after hearing D’Angelo album, Voodoo for the first time. My friend Abraham bought it on vinyl for us both to listen to when he was visiting Melbourne. There was something about the energy of the music that opened me up and allowed me to be true to myself. The album explores themes around love, spirituality and sexuality (in my opinion). I specifically love how open and sexually expressive D’Angelo is in this album. It was such a beautiful record, and soon after listening to it, I wrote Wasting Away.
Puppet illustrates where I currently am in my journey. “I’m here. Here.” That’s what the song says to me. It’s about the complexities and vulnerabilities of human relationships. It’s about love. The song expresses faith and trust within a relationship and the importance of letting go to just be. Like a puppet, I allow the wind in my life to sway me. I feel it. I allow it. Despite what the world does to me, I enable my mind and my spirit to be still. Focused on love.
I hope you enjoy my EP.