Artistry: Living Out Loud

May 26, 2006 Print version       Other articles by this author

There's something to be said for individuals who make the choice to open up, to tell their truth completely. Whether in music, literature, poetry, or even in portrayal of a character in theatre, television or film, there is dual benefit. The artist bearing their soul is liberated, healed, and justified in having gone so deep into their personal experience, and at the same time someone else is able to relate to, to connect with, to better understand the artist, as well as themselves. When looking at the "business" of entertainment, in most cases the opposite is often encouraged. To not be TOO honest, to not tell TOO much of the truth, for fear that it may have a negative impact on the popularity and/or sales of any given artist.

While artists like Elton John, George Michael, Melissa Etheridge, and KD Lang can all come out publicly without losing their fanbase, unfortunately the opposite is true for black artists. With the exception of Me'shell N'degeocello, who has identified herself as openly bisexual, there is indeed a reason why we have YET to see a black musician, actor, or model come out publicly. The process of identifying these reasons and unraveling this mystery is one that I believe will require a tremendous amount of work. We are committed to creating a starting point, and serving ourselves up examples of how to LIVE OUT LOUD.