A year ago, I was shocked, horrified, and deeply saddened to hear about the terrible Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. It seemed incomprehensible to me at first that a place of such joy could also be a killing field. It was heartbreaking to think of all those beautiful young people cut down while they were celebrating Pride. While they were dancing.
Two weeks later, I was also celebrating Pride in NYC with dear friends near the historic Stonewall Inn. It was a beautiful summer day of blue skies and streets festive with explosions of color and music and shimmering happiness on display everywhere. Glitter and feathers floated on the breeze like the lost plumage of rare birds. Strangers became friends with the exchange of hugs and smiles.
And we danced.
We danced despite what had happened. We danced in memory of those lost. We danced in defiance of hate and fear and all the things that would try to rob us of progress, of the right to move and love freely and joyfully in the world. We danced because bullets cannot kill hope.
That night, I went home and wrote a song. This spring, I finally got the chance to record it. It’s called “LOVE WINS.” Today, that song of defiance, hope, identity, resistance, progress, and love, love, love is available for FREE on Bandcamp:
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 track=3472458635 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]
I ONLY ASK ONE THING: Ifyou can, you donate whatever you can—$1, $5, $10, $100, 12 Golden Flibits of the Realm (watch out for that tricky, magical exchange rate)—to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project provides intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth between the ages of 13-24, letting them know that “it gets better.” They are, quite literally, an organization of hope. They’re heroes.
You can donate via a donation page I set up on The Trevor Project website here: The Trevor Project Love Wins
Download. Dance. Sing along. Please donate if you can. Spread the love.
I feel incredibly self-conscious about asking anyone to signal boost anything of mine. But I don’t really consider this my song; it’s everybody’s song, made in joyful collaboration with the amazingly talented team of Bill Zeffiro, Chip Fabrizi, Leslie Wagner, and Sherryl Marshall. Love is for everybody. Hope is for everybody. And heaven knows, we could use as much of that as we can get right now in the face of continued heartbreak and acts of violence. So I’m asking: If it’s not an imposition, maybe you’d signal boost with the hashtags: #LoveWins #TheTrevorProject? And if you don’t want to, that’s cool, too. Just keep dancing in your way.
There have been a lot of things this past year that might make one lose hope. But hate has a dull unity to its one trajectory–destruction; resisting hate has so, so many more creative ways to fight back, to fight forward:
With art/music/theater/books, which can encompass all of the above.
Through teaching. Parenting. Healing arts. Service. Thoughtfulness. Building community.
Hate don’t stand a chance.
It’s Pride time again. There will be parades. Floats. Whistles. Music. Color and costume and joy.
There will be friends and families, of origin and of choice, hugging and waving streamers and loving one another despite whatever horrors may come in a world often fighting for its soul. And there will be dancing in the streets.
Because in the end, love wins. I believe that with all my heart.
Happy Pride, y’all.
With so much gratitude and love,
“LOVE WINS” was recorded at PPI Studios, Soho, NYC.
Engineer: Chip Fabrizi
Piano, synth, & musical direction: Bill Zeffiro
Music, lyrics, vocals: Libba Bray
Backing vocals: Leslie Wagner & Sherryl Marshall