About two months ago I was invited to perform a headline gig at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics… I was excited and honored to be part of the biggest sporting event in the world!
My costs were barely met, but my motivation to participate was driven by my desire to share my music with people at a moment when the entire world would be coming together…
But since then it has been a crazy roller coaster.
The discriminatory statements that emerged out of Russia against homosexuality have angered and saddened me indescribably. As we know, the true spirit of the Olympics is to celebrate athletes from all over the world who have trained for the duration of their lives to reach this amazing achievement. I have always identified with this athletic spirit – to overcome obstacles by dreaming a powerful dream with discipline, focus, willpower and tenacity.
The response against the divisive message from Russia has been varied:
Some have chosen to boycott the event. This can be a powerful method to affirm one’s firm stance, but I feel that this approach doesn’t really obtain the desire result which is to show someone who is closed-minded that a different reality is possible.
Others, openly gay athletes: Americans, Finnish, Dutch, Canadian, Australian, and Slovenian teams, have decided to send their message and to inspire with their presence and participation at the games. What these athletes have done is demonstrated that being there can be one of the most powerful means of opposition – that when we are free to be ourselves, we empower others to do the same.
I identify with these athletes, because since I was a child I have felt that this was also my mission: to inspire people to be free and to be themselves.
These athletes have inspired me as an artist to represent the values I hold dearest at an event that is celebrated by the World. I have decided to open my performance with one of my earliest hits Let a Boy Cry; the video for this song depicts a fluid sexuality and an intimacy between people of the same sex that had a very strong effect on people when it first came out. In the lyrics I describe the injustice of a world that requires us to fit neatly into such pre-defined boxes as boy and girl (“soldiers and dolls”) and I explain how growing up I didn’t fit in either, because I felt I was “a pirate who conquered and sailed free”.
From the name of my label Matriarchy Records, to my Publishing Name name: Role Breaker Publishing, from the images on my website depicting me at the barber shop being shaved like a man, to my lyrics and videos, my entire life has been dedicated to challenging gender roles.
The safest thing to do would be to stay at home but I have never been one to be afraid and shy away. Herewith I wish to dedicate this trip to the beauty of diversity and to the knowledge that love knows no bounds.
I stand firm with you, my beautiful LGBTQ sisters and brothers!
Yours Always, Gala.