This Is Pride Joy: ‘I Am What I Am’ Dance Redux Featuring J. Harrison Ghee

J. Harrison Ghee in 'I Am What I Am'
J. Harrison Ghee in 'I Am What I Am'
J. Harrison Ghee in ‘I Am What I Am’

As we celebrate the last weekend of Pride Month 2021, hit play and bounce-bounce-bounce along with this totally infectious remix of that gayest of gay anthems, ‘I Am What I Am.”

Broadway legend Jerry Herman delivered unto us his glorious theme song of self-love in his 1983 Broadway blockbuster, La Cage aux Folles. And while there have been many disco-tastic takes on the upbeat theme bop, this takes Pride joy over the top!

J. Harrison Ghee and company serve up some seriously up-to-date beatsbeatsbeats along with some subtle (but recognizable) shades of characters from Broadway musicals and plays.

Victor Borbolla and Javi Perez as ‘Tony and Maria’

I spy some Dorothy Gale & Toto (Wizard of Oz), Tony & Maria (West Side Story), Jenna and Dr. Pomatter (Waitress), Danny & Sandy (Grease), Dolly Levi (Hello, Dolly!), Joseph (of Dreamcoat fame), Les Miz patriots and more. Plus, there are cameos by Marti Cummings, Ianne Fields Stewart, and Davon Williams.

The whole magilla was directed & produced by Jimmy Larkin; James Alonzo White delivers fierce choreography; and Devin Lewis skillfully handles music production duties.

And let’s hear it for the terrific company that represents in all-shapes, all-sizes, all-ages, all-shades of rainbow Pride joy!

A little Les Miz anyone…?

Dancers: Nick Alvino, Andrew Avila, Keely Beirne, Bo Belza, Michael Ivan Carrier, Michael Graceffa, Abigail Isom, Derek Johnson, Andre Malcolm, Jarred Manista, Ryan Miller, Stanley Munoz, Anthony Murphy, Myke Myklegard, Tony Neal, Lucas Parada, Dobbin Pinkney, Becca Robinson, Lexie Sahagian, Hamly Tavarez, Spencer James Weidie.

Also featuring: Jeff Heimbrock, Brian Martin, Sean Potter, Tony Tillman, Liz Pryce Davies, Nick Eibler, Kerri George, Jonathan Gomolka, Lindsay Griffin, Jay Grogan, Evan Lacombe, Laura McCormack, Yassi Noubahar, Devon Perry, Karen Joy Pangantihon, Aidan Triola, and Bradley Allan Zarr.

As regular readers of The Randy Report may recall, I knew and worked with Jerry Herman. I know he would have LOVED this.

Bravo!

Pride Music: Lotus Sky ‘Show Your Colors’

Out artist Lotus Sky releases her new anthem, "Show Your Colors" for Pride Month
Out artist Lotus Sky releases her new anthem, “Show Your Colors” for Pride Month

Out recording artist Lotus Sky releases her latest single, “Show Your Colors,” a powerful Pride anthem that celebrates uniqueness in the rainbow of creation.

With big drums and powerful horns, the track is a joyful and vibrant burst of invigorating energy to uplift the world.

The gorgeous islander melody pairs beautifully with Sky’s lithe and soaring vocals as an invitation to the spirit to dance and walk in pride.

The artist describes the song as “an epic anthem that celebrates the Unity in our Diversity, that invites us to come out in all our full expression, celebrate self, each other and LIFE.”

Inspired by conscious artists such as Trevor Hall, Ayla Nereo, and Nahko and Medicine for the People, her study of world medicine music, as well as her unique tribal and islander energy, Lotus Sky blends world, medicine and pop music to celebrate and awaken the Earth Nature Spirit within, honoring the human journey of the heart.

While the song itself pays homage to the LGBTQ+ community, at the same time its message is universal, calling everyone to celebrate themselves, their connection to all things, to spread their wings and show their colors.

I really, really like this.

You can stream/download the song here, and you can follow Lotus Sky on Instagram here.

Out Music: Michaela Jaé “Something To Say”

Michaela Jaé (aka MJ Rodriguez of POSE fame)
Michaela Jaé (aka MJ Rodriguez of POSE fame)

Singer, actress and activist Michaela Jaé (aka MJ Rodriguez of POSE fame) released her anthemic debut single “Something to Say” last week to much acclaim. The track is an R&B pop bop that sees Michaela calling people to step into their truth and let their voices be heard.

The Imagen Award winner wrote “Something to Say” with PWP (comprised of the legendary Verdine White of Earth, Wind, and Fire, multi-Grammy winning Neal Pogue and John Paris as well as Nick Ferraro and Duncan Hood) and the song is a poignant celebration of equality and love.

Paper praised the track writing, “She’s at the height of her powers here, channelling the generosity and warmth of spirit of so many iconic disco divas. Conveying an easy confidence, it’s a welcome antidote to the many hackneyed Pride Month singles being released into the ether.”

With a fun and funky vibe and disco-tinged touches throughout, “Something to Say” is absolutely perfect for your pride month playlist.

Folks shouldn’t be surprised by Rodriguez’s potent vocal chops here. Regular viewers of POSE recall Rodriguez’s stirring performance of “Home” with cast member Billy Porter in Season One of the acclaimed series.

Pride Music: Country Artist Hayden Joseph ‘Out’

Out country artist Hayden Joseph
Out country music artist Hayden Joseph

Rising country music artist Hayden Joseph releases his uplifting anthem of self-acceptance, “Out,” just in time for Pride month.

The new song showcases Hayden’s bright and effortless vocals amid modern country-pop production. The inspiring and forward-looking lyrics are a clarion call to be out and proud of who you are.

“Every artist needs an ‘I am’ song, and this is mine,” says Joseph about the new track. “At its core, it’s a track about celebrating who you are. For me, it narrates coming out and fully accepting myself, but the meaning will change depending on the listener.”

“I’ve sat on the song for 3 years because I didn’t want to ruffle country music feathers, but I have decided this Pride month is the time.”

Hit the play button below and bounce along to “Out.”

Hayden has been making waves as one of the few out-and-proud singers in the country genre for the better part of the last year, following the successful release of his 2021 debut album, Different (which has garnered over 300,000 streams).

He knows he faces an uphill battle as an openly gay male pursuing a country music career; it’s no secret that the genre hasn’t always been inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. Despite that, he prides himself in the inclusive nature of his lyrics, and earnestly aspires to “write songs for everyone.”

Hayden strives to continue breaking industry barriers, just as he says in his new single: “Times are changing, uncovering new ground. The world is ready for how I’m speaking out.”

For more out country music artists, check out my previous posts with Cameron Hawthorn, Ty Herndon, and Patrick Masse & Drake Jensen.

You can follow Hayden on Instagram here. “Out” is available now on all digital download/streaming platforms.

Out Music: Tom Goss ‘Pride’

Pride,” the new single and music video by Tom Goss, celebrates the rainbow of people who make up the LGBTQ community and their stories of hope, perseverance, triumph, and love.

“When we think of Pride, we often think of tens of thousands of people marching in a parade, but it’s much more than that,” says Goss. “It’s the individuals, the love they share, and the moments together that make up the mosaic that is Pride as we know it today. That’s what this song is about.”

He adds, “It’s important that we respect and pay homage to those that fought for us and (that we) continue the fight for the generations to follow.”

The idea for the song was sparked by a cross-country road trip Tom and his husband took last summer.

One stop on the trip was to visit their friend Ben who had recently lost his partner, Rich. The couple had been cornerstones in their local LGBTQ community. Goss attended a memorial service (held in front of City Hall) where friends gathered to laugh, cry and remember their friend.

Their story inspired Tom to think about all of the other people who have fought tirelessly to make being gay something to be celebrated. People like Rich and Ben, living and loving quietly but heroically in small cities and towns across the country. The world may never know their names, but that doesn’t make their stories any less important.

Tom issued a post on Facebook, asking LGBTQ couples to share their love stories with him. He was inundated by the most beautiful and moving testimonials from all over the world.

From Tom Goss's new music video "Pride"

“I hope ‘Pride’ and it’s music video encourage people in the community to stop and reflect on how we got to where we are today,” Tom says. “We owe so much to our forefathers and mothers. We cannot begin to imagine the hardships they endured, and that’s by design. They wouldn’t allow it. They wanted a better world for us, so they created it for us.”

“It’s important that we respect and pay homage to those that fought for us and continue the fight for the generations to follow. That is Pride.”

Produced by Austin Danson, Tom Goss’s “Pride” is available now on all major digital platforms.

Out singer/songwriter Tom Goss (photo: Dusti Cunningham)

News Round-Up: June 29, 2020

Jwan Yosef and Ricky Martin (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Instagram: International pop star Ricky Martin and husband, artist Jwan Yosef, shared a perfectly up-to-date Pride 2020 kiss pic (above) with the caption, “Happy Pride, everyone!”

Inappropriate Questions: “How did you get pregnant?” In the latest episode from the CBC’s podcast that addresses the questions ‘we all want to ask,’ journalist Freddy McConnell takes the listener through his ups and downs of navigating pregnancy as a trans man and single dad.

Instinct Magazine: Over at my ‘other’ outlet, the powers that be have compiled this list of 10 totally classic LGBTQ anthem to help you dance your way through the last days of Pride Month 2020. Hit the link to see if your favorite made the list 🙂

BuzzFeed LGBTQ: BuzzFeed is relaunching its dedicated vertical on the BuzzFeed.com site focused on LGBTQ content. Its mission is to elevate new voices and curate content that highlights every aspect of queer life – from the big stories to the small everyday moments, in Pride Month and year-round.  Zach Stafford, who recently departed his position as editor-in-chief of The Advocate, will be the Editor-at-Large.

Revry TV: The first LGBTQ+ virtual cable network is 100 percent free, 100 percent queer, and features LGBTQ+ programming for a diverse range of audiences through their app, the web, and platforms like Roku and AppleTV. Revry Premium provides access to the streaming platform’s full library of on-demand titles without commercials for as low as $4.99 a month. Get one month of Premium for free thanks to The Advocate by signing up here and using promo code M201.

Back2Stonewall: Even though flying a rainbow Pride flag violates Russia’s hateful ‘anti-gay propaganda’ law passed in 2013, the American embassy in Moscow is proudly and defiantly displaying the flag for all to see.

 

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Сегодня посольство США в России чествует Флаг Гордости ЛГБТИ🏳️‍🌈во время празднования #PrideFlagDay. Флаг ЛГБТИ был создан американским художником и активистом Гилбертом Бейкером и впервые был поднят 25 июня 1978 г. во время парада Gay Freedom Day в Сан-Франциско. «Символ радуги был взят из самой ранней истории человечества как символ надежды», – писал Бейкер в своих мемуарах «Воин радуги» (Rainbow Warrior). Он хотел донести свое убеждение в том, что сила общества в разнообразии. Права ЛГБТИ – это права человека. Права человека универсальны. Месяц гордости призван подчеркнуть, что каждый человек заслуживает того, чтобы жить жизнью, свободной от ненависти, предубеждений и преследований. #Pride2020 #LGBTI #HumanRights #EqualProtection #PrideFlagDay #rainbowflag

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Pride Music: Billy Porter & The Shapeshifters “Finally Ready”

Emmy/Grammy/Tony Award winner Billy Porter drops this disco-tastic new track, “Finally Ready.”

Porter describes the collaboration with The Shapeshifters as “a declaration of Pride, of breaking free from past traumas to take a chance on love.”

Cinematic strings, live horns and Billy’s unmistakably powerful voice create a sonic dancescape complete with a message of Pride via Billy’s joyful lyrics.

“Finally Ready” hits on so many levels for me,” says the Pose star. “First, being ‘finally ready’ to experience what real love is. And thankfully, I have somebody who loves me enough to love me through trauma, to be present, and allow me to grow, into this.”

“I’m also ‘finally ready’ to be who I am, who I’ve always been,” he adds. “It has been a rough road, I’ve been through so many changes, but I always kept the faith and now I’m here.”

“And lastly, I’ve made a lot of different kinds of music – R&B, show tunes, ballads. But it should come as no surprise to anyone at all that disco is in my blood! I love to feel sparkly and have that light shine back into the audience. So, yes, I am ‘finally ready’ to make a classic disco record.”

“Now, let’s dance!”

Playlist: Pride Music 2019

Throughout this past month, I've been sharing music from out artists that I not only really like, but feel have some message for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.

Throughout this past month, I’ve been sharing music from out artists that I not only really like, but feel have some message for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.

Whether it’s a message of acceptance, self-love or personal pride, I posted these as a musical tribute to the month and our community.

You can also find them by searching The Randy Report for ‘Pride Music.’

Thanks for an amazing Pride Month everyone!

As we close out Pride Month 2019, here’s this year’s playlist:

Pride Music: Wrabel “The Village”

In August 2017, out musician Wrabel released his powerful music video for "The Village" as a sign of solidarity with the transgender community in the aftermath of Donald Trump's 'out of nowhere' decision to ban trans military service members.

In August 2017, out musician Wrabel released his powerful music video for “The Village” as a sign of solidarity with the transgender community in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s ‘out of nowhere’ decision to ban trans military service members.

Beginning with this quote, “In nature, a flock will attack any bird that is more colorful than the others because being different is seen as a threat,” the video follows a young transgender man’s journey into self-acceptance.

Wrabel sent this message to the LGBTQ community via social media over the weekend:

“To anyone that feels like an outsider, the problem isn’t you, it’s the village. I don’t know how else to raise my voice than in a song. And so, I wrote a song for you. #transrightsarehumanrights #thevillage”

The mournful tune focuses on issues of isolation that arise with the exploration of one’s sexuality and identity.

The lyrics urge the listener to remember there is nothing wrong with them. The issue is with those who treat them differently.

Watch below.

At the time of the video’s release, Wrabel tweeted:

Pride Music: Pet Shop Boys “Go West”

A “must-have” when it comes to Pride Month music, the Pet Shop Boys cover of “Go West."

A “must-have” when it comes to Pride Month music, the Pet Shop Boys cover of “Go West.”

Of course, it’s on my pool playlist all summer long. But, especially during Pride Month.

The track is a 3-time gay-gay-gay play.

Originally recorded by The Village People (do I even have to elaborate here?), the song was covered by the Pet Shop Boys in 1993 and nominated for a Grammy Award for “Best Music Video.”

 Plus, the tune was featured in the Broadway musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

See? Gay 1, 2, 3. What’s not to love?

On top of the muscular melody, the lyrics offer a positive message totally born for Pride:

(Go West) Life is peaceful there


(Go West) In the open air


(Go West) Baby you and me


(Go West) This is our destiny


(Go West) Sun in wintertime


(Go West) We will do just fine


(Go West) Where the skies are blue


(Go West) This is what we’re gonna do