With the exception of an occasional rant on Twitter or an LGBT Rights article I'll post on Facebook; I have lived by the old saying "Don't discuss Religion or Politics" and applied it to my Social Media sites. I feel its well known where I stand regarding my politics and most of my FB friends or Twitter followers have similar ideology so why even preach to the choir. Over ten years ago when I first got into music my 'ANGER' fueled my art. If I wasn't angry about racist cops, it was Bush era politics or the challenges of coming out as a gay person of color. On stage and in my lyrics I pushed boundaries of "sexual norms" & verbally vomited all over the stage. Blame it on age, complacency or just a feeling of peace within but for the most part I am not that same angry fueled person.
That being said it was all the more amusing that I got into a spat on Facebook with a "family" member over a Gay Marriage post. After talking with some friends, all gay men who have been with the same partners for 9, 13, 18 years respectively; I had to post something. I basically said FUCK YOU to anyone who dismisses gay relationships as less than theirs because we still can't get married in the majority of states. Soon after, this "Family" member posted a response quoting Bible passages that "marriage is between a man & woman" and the foundation of her 24 year marriage. After some back and forth on her page, she left me with this : " I pray you find peace and some day able to let go of all the anger pain and frustration you feel, You are and always will be family." Within that sentence there is a lot to say, one being what "FAMILY" is, and I will save that for next week.
What stood out to me more were the words PEACE & ANGER. I have probably never been more at peace with who I am than right now. I have the best mom, supportive friends, loving boyfriend and although not where I want to be career wise I am on my journey. She said to "LET GO OF ALL THE ANGER" somehow she perceived my feelings on same-sex marriage as ANGER. I had to laugh because maybe 7 to 10 years ago she could have said that but I have LET GO OF THE ANGER until that post on Facebook where ANGER made a cameo after being gone for so long.
This talk of Anger reminded me of my favorite band RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and their song FREEDOM. Very quietly under the loud guitar riffs and bombastic bass, lead singer ZACH DE LA ROCHA says " YOUR ANGER IS A GIFT" . I never understood that until this week. Anger or perceived anger is actually an agent for change. When I used my anger productively and channeled it in my art and music i did so subconsciously. I know anger manifested in the form of violence or hate doesn't get a lot accomplished, but ANGER channeled in campaigns for Equality and betterment of the human race is never wrong. This week a member of the band RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE , TOM MORELLO was in the news when he had some choice words for Republican VP Candidate PAUL RYAN. You see Paul Ryan came out as a fan of RAGE, and TOM didn't mince words: “He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage … Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta ‘rage’ in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.”
I want to thank this "family" member for actually reminding me that I had let go of the anger, and now is not the time. There are people running to lead our country who are raging against me, raging against my friends, raging against my family. It's not the time to be passive or complacent! Don't let go of your anger, use it in your art, use it at the voting booth, use it on social media. I may be preaching to the choir but we all need to be reminded to stay strong & remain steadfast in our march for human rights. So this Sunday I have a gift for all of my homies. I know!! KNOW it's not even your Birthday & I am not the best wrapper, or rapper for that matter lol, but open it up!!! It's YOUR ANGER! Let's go out and make this world a better place!
RATM performs FREEDOM live in MEXICO!