What Matters Most To LGBQT Country Fans?

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Aristotleded24
What Matters Most To LGBQT Country Fans?

Country singer Ty Herndon, who has come out as being gay, recently re-released his 1994 hit single "What Matters Most" with male pronouns (or as he says in the opening of the video, "the way I wish I could have sang it for you then.") It's amazing with all the love songs around where the context is obviously that of a heterosexual couple, to hear a song that expclicitly celebrates gay love. So far, he seems to have had a positive reception, at least juding by the comment section on that video.

I've long been a country music fan, however this makes me an even bigger fan. Coutnry music is viewed by some as hillbillly redneck music that all they do is talk about how they love their small towns, drinking, and cheating. There has always been more to it than that. It gives voice to a wide range of issues and perspectives. Some of them I could list include economic stagnation of the poor and middle class, domestic violence, child abuse, children with special needs, being against war, rape culture, challenging sexism within its own genre, suburban sprawl at the expense of farms and the natural world. and environmental destruction. There are probably many more issues and songs about them Above all, country music encourages you to stay true to yourself, because it really takes many different kinds to make the world go round.

Country music has long been opening and accepting of many people, including the LGBQT population. This is really great news. Congratulations Mr. Herndon, hope to hear you on the radio again.

lagatta4

Not at all a country music fan, nor personally LGBTQ+. Have supported what we used to call gay rights for many decades though - a close friend was one of the founders of the Front de libération homosexuel here in Québec and I've known many gay and lesbian activists. I did have the idea that there was a lot of homophobia in that milieu, simply because it is rural by definition and often (not always) people in rural areas tend to have old-fashioned ideas. Great that Herndon can sing love songs with the proper pronoun. I remember an old clip in which Elton John is singing "Nikita" - to a Soviet ... girl.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

lagatta4 wrote:

Not at all a country music fan, nor personally LGBTQ+. Have supported what we used to call gay rights for many decades though - a close friend was one of the founders of the Front de libération homosexuel here in Québec and I've known many gay and lesbian activists. I did have the idea that there was a lot of homophobia in that milieu, simply because it is rural by definition and often (not always) people in rural areas tend to have old-fashioned ideas. Great that Herndon can sing love songs with the proper pronoun. I remember an old clip in which Elton John is singing "Nikita" - to a Soviet ... girl.

More interestingly, the Soviet "girl" in that video was a border guard.  I've wonder if there was some sort of hidden metaphor in Elton addressing that song to that particular character-as if he was symbolically begging to be allowed to cross a border and arrive at a destination he felt barred from.

WWWTT

27 years ago KD Lang was already there. You don't get more country than KD!

http://www.towleroad.com/2014/11/gay-iconography-constant-praise-for-kd-...

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

WWWTT wrote:

27 years ago KD Lang was already there. You don't get more country than KD!

http://www.towleroad.com/2014/11/gay-iconography-constant-praise-for-kd-...

True.  And a few years ago there was Chely Wright

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chely_Wright

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

As to what matters most to LGBTQ country fans?  I can't speak for them-some days I'm not always sure I speak for myself-but it's likely that what matters to them is what matters to fans of any form of song:  commitment to the emotional truth of the words and music.

And maybe a good fiddle or banjo solo, too.

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
As to what matters most to LGBTQ country fans?  I can't speak for them-some days I'm not always sure I speak for myself-but it's likely that what matters to them is what matters to fans of any form of song:  commitment to the emotional truth of the words and music.

And maybe a good fiddle or banjo solo, too.

Ken, "What Mattered Most" is the title of a hit song by Ty Herndon, who recently came out as gay and who is the main subject of this thread. I guess it's more of an inside thing for country music fans from the 1990s would catch onto that might leave others confused.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
As to what matters most to LGBTQ country fans?  I can't speak for them-some days I'm not always sure I speak for myself-but it's likely that what matters to them is what matters to fans of any form of song:  commitment to the emotional truth of the words and music.

And maybe a good fiddle or banjo solo, too.

Ken, "What Mattered Most" is the title of a hit song by Ty Herndon, who recently came out as gay and who is the main subject of this thread. I guess it's more of an inside thing for country music fans from the 1990s would catch onto that might leave others confused.

Ahhh, I see.  Thanks for cluing me in to that.  I'm going to leave my observation there because, though I missed the in-joke, there is some validity in the general observation. Double meanings are the soul of poetry, and all song is born of poetry, isn't it?

swallow swallow's picture

Lovely story, thanks for sharing it.

Persoanlly I’ve experienced more homophobia in urban than rural settings. 

Aristotleded24

Luke Bryan stands by key chours line after outpouring of support from LGBQT community:

Quote:
Luke Bryan's recent No. 1 hit, "Most People Are Good," has earned him unexpected appreciation from the LGBTQ community. The song's chorus features a line that the community champions: "I believe you love who you love / Ain't nothing you should ever be ashamed of," and the singer says he wouldn't change those words.

One of the many standout lines in the song, which David Frasier, Ed Hill, and Josh Kear co-wrote, the singer admits that the first time he heard "Most People Are Good," those particular words didn't jump out at him.

"The first time I heard the song, I was just so enamored with it as a body of work and everything it was saying that that line passed me by," Bryan shared backstage at the 2018 CMA Music Festival (quote via the Boot). "I just thought of it as a love line. I'll be truthful: I thought about it as maybe an interracially charged line, but even that was only after multiple listens to the song."

...

"Going into recording it, if somebody had asked me if I would ever change that line, I would have been like, 'Are you crazy? Not in a million years,'" he says. "I think that song is about the world in general. That line, in particular, needs to be interpreted however the listener wants to interpret it."