For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked numerous pop culture luminaries to write “love letters” to the LGBTQ community. Below, singer/songwriter James Bay shares his. Read more Pride Month love letters here.
We live in very distracting times. From divisive world leaders to new technology, lots of things want to pull us away from interacting with one another and having shared experiences that might bring compassion and empathy. It strikes me that maybe every generation is faced with a decision; to absorb knowledge but let a status quo exist in which we go along with ideas and messages passed along from outdated leaders of another time, or actively work to make changes. To recognize that change is necessary can be complex in itself, but to act on it in our everyday lives takes courage and bravery. But the rewards mean we all might get to express our identity more fully.
I started writing songs because there was something inside me that I could only express that way. And like everyone, I’m trying to understand more about myself and how we all exist in the world. How do we unite around forces of good, can we mend, move forward, make better and live in this world together? Music and drawing became my ways of figuring stuff out when I was kid — working through problems by playing the guitar, letting my mind wander with paint or a pencil in my hand. That’s stayed a constant in my life — exploring the best and worst of emotions or situations, real and imagined, through creativity. I envisioned a future characterized by giving people what they might not have known they wanted, and I’m grateful for a world which celebrates experimentation. We are all learning.
My job means I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the world and see first-hand how the bravery of others means our world is becoming more conscious, loving and most importantly, more equal. And that should be celebrated every day.
Let’s encourage each other and believe in the power of individuality.