Carly stands for gay rights
Carly Rae Jepsen is a singer in a very delicate position right now. Despite her mild success in Canada before last year, she’s at risk of being forever known as a one-hit-wonder and fading away into obscurity. Therefore, any move she makes these days is important to contributing to any possible long-term impact she may have. Carly announced this week that she was pulling out of performing at the Boy Scouts of America National Scout Jamboree this summer citing the organization’s policy on gay members. The resulting attention that came from that is the most Carly Rae has gotten in months.
What does a move like this mean for her as an artist? Other than the obvious “hell, yeah!” from everyone in their right mind, it gives Carly Rae a new sort of backbone that she’s never had the opportunity to show before. This decision got her in the news and therefore back in the spotlight, even for just a little bit, but it was enough to add to what we know about Carly Rae beyond Call Me Maybe. Having an opinion on an issue such as this moves her into a new realm away from simply being a faceless, voiceless pop singer.
There are those who feel singers and entertainers should entertain and keep the politics to the pros. No. Why should they? And even if Carly had said nothing and played the show as planned, she ran the risk of being viewed as a supporter of the Boy Scouts of America and thus their policies. Either way, whatever she chose to do would have been seen as political by those who would want to see it that way. She would also have run the risk of being branded a “yes-woman”, meaning she’ll do whatever job she’s told to do without question. By saying no, she’s seen as willing to stand up for something she believes in. It works to her advantage. It works to the advantage of LGBT people. Everyone who should win does win.
It should be noted that Carly Rae Jepsen wasn’t the only artist to pull out from this particular event. The band Train, known for their early 2000s hits Drops Of Jupiter and Calling All Angels and recent comeback smash Hey Soul Sister, pulled out as well. While Train doesn’t seem like the kind of band one would think of when they think of musicians who support LGBT rights, it does bring to mind some other unlikely candidates of gay support.
fun. has been selling merchandise with pro-gay messages since before they broke into the mainstream last year as they consider themselves vocal advocates for gay rights. Jay-Z publicly voiced his support of President Obama’s backing of gay marriage last year. Rapper Macklemore showed his support in the form of a single from his album The Heist called Same Love (video below). Meanwhile, Jason Mraz, Rob Thomas and Dave Matthews have all been advocates for years.
These artists have all received praise for their words and actions so while Carly Rae’s actions are nothing new, they’re still noteworthy and help to move forward the fight for equal rights. Just a small step but even the small steps add up.