Carrie Underwood just got a little more beautiful.
Recently speaking to the United Kingdom Independent, Underwood expressed support for gay couples:
“As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry,” she said. “I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love.” – ‘Carrie Underwood: US country queen speaks out for gay marriage – but how will conservative fans take it?’, The Independent, 09 June 2012
While I consider the above a tepid statement on behalf of gay marriage equality, I still applaud Underwood just the same for saying it. I hope that this will be a start of other country artists voicing their support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community.
Being part of the gay rodeo circuit, I have seen country music when it was enormously popular within the community; however, as we were able to be more out and accepted, the love of country became less and less. When you have someone like Lady Gaga who is forcefully supportive of us, why would we give our time and attention to a genre that stands by silently at best or is outright hostile to LGBTs; especially, some of the fans. It is not just the LGBT community who feels that way. It is our allies as well. Why support someone who is not supportive of their friends, families, coworkers, etc.
Country artists, if you come out in support of LGBT people, I can assure you that you will gain a very loyal and devoted fan base. We built a whole fundraising element of our community around country with gay rodeo; now in its 26th year of existence–that’s longer than Tim McGraw has been on the charts. We love those who love us. Just look at Starbucks, JC Penny; even Home Depot, which has been a part of our community for many years now. Show us some love. Speak up for us and speak out for us.
Yes, you may face some backlash and outrage from your more conservative fans, but that won’t last. They’ll come back to you, no matter what they may post in the comments section.
Speak out for us because it’s the right thing to do. Speak out because the values of country music: devotion to family and friends; working hard to provide for yourself and your kids; kicking back on the weekends; helping out those who are in need of help, are all values that LGBT community shares with you. We’re more alike than we are different. If you speak up for us, you will find out just how true that is.