I want to first thank Dan Savage and all contributors for their fantastic work toward the It Gets Better campaign, an important movement to spread community level support toward closeted individuals who are struggling with their sexuality, particularly those youth who are still working toward coming to terms with their reality in less-than-welcoming surroundings.
I became aware that I was gay from the moment I hit puberty at 12, and kept it to myself for 3 years before I told my parents, and then waited another 5 years before I came out to the world. I do not think my high school was a safe place for me at the time, but then again, I wonder if my coming out earlier could have made a difference for someone younger than me. I hear that the environment has become more LGBTQ positive since my departure, and I have to give huge kudos to the out and proud LGBTQ youth who came after me who were unafraid to live their lives openly and without fear. At university, coming out was a huge breath of fresh air. I felt freer, like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I lost a few friends, but 90% of them supported me and some of them even said they liked me better without the facade.
I considered doing a YouTube video discussing my process, but spoken videos aren’t my forte and there are better, important stories that people have put out there. So instead I’ve taken this song and it’s my meek and humble gift to everyone out there who needs to know they are not alone, that they are beautiful, and that they are exactly as the universe intended they be.
It does get better. My parents were originally quite homophobic before I came out to them. they surprised me over and over again, first by telling me we would work through it together, then by seeking out reliable and objective information, and then by welcoming and defending me against the world. They welcome me and my partner as they do my straight siblings, and look forward to the days we are married, have a dog, and children.
Shine was originally a song of support off my latest album which I wrote to help a loved one who felt they were slipping into despair. This is a brand new version of it, and I encourage you to share it with anyone who you think would appreciate or benefit from it.
Thanks, and be blessed.
SHINE (Kevin Wong)
Produced, arranged, and performed by Kevin Wong.
(c) 2010 WovenKing Music (SOCAN)