New Music: Justin Utley ‘All Is Bright’

Award-winning singer/songwriter Justin Utley
OUTMusic Award winner Justin Utley (photo: Nick Sokoloff)

I’ve been a fan of singer/songwriter Justin Utley for years now, so I’m thrilled his new single, “All is Bright,” arrives in time for the beginning of the holiday season.

In “All is Bright,” the first holiday release from the OUTMusic Award-winning singer/songwriter, Justin Utley sings how even during these dark and tumultuous times, there’s still a silver lining.

“The pandemic has brought people closer together,” he says. “There’s nothing like spending time surrounded by the people who matter most, even if it’s over Zoom.”

“’All is Bright‘ is about bringing people together to celebrate something meaningful and special,” Justin continues. “I wanted to write a song for the holidays that didn’t have lyrical ties to a specific tradition since we all value different aspects of this time of year.”

The upbeat guitar-driven track offers a perfect setting for Utley’s robust and earnest vocals. Like earlier releases, Utley shows he definitely knows his way to a catchy, feel-good pop chorus. Definitely add this to your regular playlist.

Born and raised in Utah, his music career took off when he was selected to perform at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. His single, “Stand for Something,” won Best Country/Folk Song of the Year at the 2010 OutMusic Awards. SiriusXM’s OutQ Radio later named Justin “Artist of the Year.”

All is Bright” is available on all digital platforms with all presale proceeds benefitting the Homeless Youth Resource Center of Utah.

Follow Justin on Instagram here.

Trans People Go Home For The Holidays In #BeautifuLGBTQ Pantene Ad

Since 1943, the wistful holiday classic “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” has resonated deeply for those who can’t go home for the holidays.

While the song was written with World War II soldiers in mind who were separated from their families, LGBTQ people often have their own difficulties in heading home for the holidays.

Pantene has partnered with GLAAD and the 42-member Trans Chorus of Los Angeles on an inclusive ad for this Christmas season featuring the song with the hopes of raising awareness of the challenges LGBTQ folks face during returning home at Christmas time.

“137 million Americans will travel home this holiday season,” reads an official statement from Pantene for the ad. “But, 44% of LGBTQ+ people feel they can’t come home as their true selves, fearing their identity (including hair, makeup, and personal style) won’t be accepted.”

“Let’s make the most wonderful time of year wonderful for all,” the message continues. “Because no matter when you come home, where you call home, or who you come home to—coming home should be #BeautifuLGBTQ.”

Procter & Gamble Vice President Ilaria Resta said in a statement, “Inclusion is at the heart of Pantene’s mission to celebrate the beauty of all transformations and of all people.”

In addition to the ad, Pantene has also produced several videos with Trans Chorus members who share their personal struggles with family acceptance.

“Hearing these LGBTQ individuals speak about the trials and triumphs of going home for the holidays — as well as their irrepressible desire to be their true selves — will inspire others in the community and remind us all what true beauty is about,” said Resta.

Earlier this year, Pantene promoted Spirit Day and National Coming Out Day. As part of this collaboration with GLAAD, the hair giant has pledged to donate $100,000 to Family Equality, a group dedicated to making sure LGBTQ people have the same opportunities and parental rights as heterosexual couples.

The campaign also includes videos sharing the personal stories of Chorus members Crystal S., Steven H., MJ and Miliana S.

Social Media Post Of The Day

(image via Flickr – Rachel Gardner)

Via Facebook:

“Those of you who are planning to place Christmas lights/decorations in your garden… can you please avoid anything that is red or blue and flashing?

Every time I drive by, I think it’s the police and have a panic attack! I have to take my foot off the accelerator, toss my wine, fasten my seat belt, throw my phone on the floor, turn the radio down, push the gun under the seat and put my clothes back on.

It’s too much drama. Thank you for your cooperation & understanding.”

Same-Sex Couple Gets Cozy In The Cold In New Starbucks Campaign

This year’s holiday campaign from Starbucks is all about inclusivity.

And that’s why in the launch video below, titled “Giving Good Starts with You,” you’ll see a mixed-race couple holding hands, a father and daughter decorating a tree, a young girl sharing a holiday drawing with her grandmother via internet, and a lesbian couple enjoying a hot cup of coffee in the holiday season.

The video is reminiscent of this year’s holiday cups which feature doodles of gifts, ribbons, and a pair of hands holding red coffee cups.

Leanne Fremar, executive creative director for Starbucks, says the cups were “designed to encourage our customers to add their own color and illustrations. We love the idea of everyone making this year’s cup their own.”

The “Give Good” campaign is about the many ways we can help or recognize others’ contributions to our lives.

“Giving good can be as small as someone opening the door for you, or recognizing the people that enrich your life—your child’s teacher, a caregiver, a family friend,” says Fremar. “The holidays are a time to celebrate all the good we give to each other and our community.”

Watch the video below.

Yule Log Video For The Hard Core STAR WARS Fan

Folks love their virtual fireplace/yule log videos during the holiday season – how very tech-y we’ve come.

But now, just perfect for the STAR WARS fan in your circles, here’s a five hour yule log video loop sure to please.

Clip description: “Cuddle up with your loved ones and bask in the warming glow of this five hour Darth Vader yule log. Perfect for holiday parties.”

Nordstrom Department Store Celebrates With Real-Life Gay Couple And Pooch

Just another holiday homecoming is what we get in the new ad spot from Nordstrom, which features a handsome gent being welcomed home by his husband and four-legged family member.

“Home is the heart of the holiday season.”

I understand the two men are a real-life couple engaged to be married, so kudos to Nordstrom for sharing some reality with us.

It comes as no surprise that Nordstrom has a 100% rating in the Human Rights Campaign Buyers Guide.

It’s also my husband’s favorite department store. See? He has good taste 🙂