Gavin Degraw, Fall Out Boy, Westlife, My Chemical Romance, McFly, Linkin Park… Those are just a few of the musical artists and bands which I love. For anyone that knows me, you’ll know that one of my biggest passions is music. For anyone that doesn’t know me, but has read all the blogs which I have written, you may have been able to guess that!
Well one of the things that comes alongside an enjoyment and passion for music, is that usually with every situation I will be able to hear a song or think of a song that relates to it, or reminds me of it, or that gives me something to reflect on regarding it.
At this time which we are currently living in, it’s different to what the majority of us have ever experienced. We are living through a major pandemic with the spread of Covid-19, as well as living in a historical movement with all the protests and changes being put in place. One of the things that has been clear throughout everything we have gone through, is the love being shown between different groups of people. Younger generations are helping older generations who aren’t as able to leave their homes, different religions are working together to support their local community, different genders are working together to keep everything active in the world as best as they can at this time and, especially this week, all have come together to show their support for each other.
So, as Darren talked about in his last blog, it raises the question; why are some people discriminated against?
One of my favourite bands released a new album this year, and that band is All Time Low. Within that album they have some fantastic tracks, however, one really jumps out at me at this particular time. One that really talks to me and helps relate to the situations which we are currently in. But I am not going to tell you the name, or even the lyrics of that song yet. First, I want to tell you the story of a pastor named Noah.
Noah appeared on the new season of Queer Eye which began on Netflix last week.
For anyone not familiar with Queer Eye, it is a television franchise where we see 5 gay men, known as the ‘Fab 5’, giving lifestyle and fashion makeovers to their guests, known as ‘heroes’. They will usually makeover someone’s hair, clothes, an area such as a home or work space, what their diet consists of, as well as giving them a chance to speak freely and openly, hopefully encouraging them to be more accepting of themselves, as well as more open to being out there in what they do.
Now, Noah’s story is that he is currently a pastor at The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Atonement in Philadelphia. The way someone gets onto the show is that they are ‘nominated’ by someone else close to them. Members of Noah’s church council saw how much work he was putting into his job while ignoring himself, so they nominated him for the show in the hopes that the Fab 5 would show him how to practice self-care and confidence in himself. Within this episode we find out that Noah is gay, but that he carries a lot of shame in not coming out sooner. However, his reason for not coming out sooner was that he didn’t feel he would be accepted. He didn’t feel it was the right thing for him to be having these feelings. Within the episode, Noah meets with some other clergy who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. They help show him that the same grace which he gives other people within his church, needs to be shown to himself. It’s a very moving and touching thing to watch and I recommend finding it if you have not seen it already.
However, the focus I want to have is that Noah felt he needed to hide who he is. He felt ashamed by it, and that must be a terrible thing to feel. We jump back to the question before of why are some people discriminated against. It really shouldn’t be happening anymore, not today.
But it makes it worse when that discrimination causes someone to doubt themselves, to be ashamed of themselves, to not love themselves. This is where todays song comes into it.
Within All Time Low’s album, they include a track named ‘Wake Up, Sunshine’ (which is also the name of the album). It’s a bright and uplifting song in a time when we really need it, but that’s not all that stood out to me. The main line in the chorus says this:
Wake up, sunshine. Somebody loves you for yourself.
That’s the message I want to leave with you today. When you have times when you doubt yourself, when you have times when you feel alone and that it’s you against the world, just remember, wake up and think, somebody loves you for yourself. For who you are! Whatever gender, skin colour, age, sexuality, religion... somebody loves you, and no one deserves judgement for who they are.
We are all made as we are meant to be. We each have our own story, and as Brene Brown, a professor in America, said:
Owning our story is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.
Own your story! Be you! And be proud of who you.
Wake up, sunshine. Somebody loves you for yourself.
This week’s resource…
Song: All Time Low – Wake Up, Sunshine
Can be found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIeBPk3GwMM
About: All Time Low's official lyric video for the title track ''Wake Up, Sunshine" from their new album Wake Up, Sunshine - available everywhere now via Fueled By Ramen. Please be advised that this song does include some explicit words.