Sons of an Illustrious Father: Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community

Photo: Ebru Yildiz
Sons of an Illustrious Father

For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked numerous pop culture luminaries to write "love letters" to the LGBTQ community. Below, "genre queer" band Sons of an Illustrious Father share theirs. Read more Pride Month love letters here.

Here we are together in this time of catastrophe and miracle. How do we move now in this world? How do we build a historic bloc, a unified movement to save our living world by seeking both justice and mercy for all its living things? How do we use the momentum of the momentous progress of our times to outpace the retroactive nightmare that also dwells in this era and works so ceaselessly to destroy all that we've built and more?

Here's all we know: To be the best people we can be, we humble ourselves before the whole vast spectrum of being and being human and we empower ourselves to know and love our place within it so that we can better know and love everyone else's. We love ourselves so we can love others. It’s a beautiful and brutal and painful and deeply rewarding path to take and a decision to make: to care. To care for ourselves and value who we truly are and can be. To care for each other and lift each other up as a condition of our own ascent. To be together in our celebration and our investigation of what's unique about each of us; what's different.

Community has been so commonly conflated with conformity. Corn grows in rows and thus lends itself to this society's tendencies, so we grow too much corn, disregarding the harm to the earth, and we eat it constantly, disregarding the harm to our bodies. The image of corn-fed straight America which seemingly fits the physical and psycho-emotional reality of no one but is supposed to somehow be the model for everyone. In this band, we eat a lot of chocolate. The cacao tree can't grow in a row of other cacao trees. The cacao tree is fertilized by midges in a rainforest full of many other unique plants that provide shade for the midges. This is partially why our current world model makes cacao a rapidly expiring resource as industry decimates rainforest communities to make room for more rows of corn-formity.

But humans are not like corn. Humans are like the cacao tree. Humans need space and support to be themselves. So often to meet our overriding desire to belong, we feel we must compromise the passions of our hearts and the specificity of our individual selves. Many of us have known the struggle of feeling like we must choose between living a life that we truly accept and a life in which we are accepted.

Our dearly beloved community, you are our salvation -- we together are creating our continuing salvation -- the shelter, and the soil, and the fertilizing midges within which we can be us and belong.

Gay Pride Month 2017