Written by: Kyle McCabe In thinking about Bluegrass Pride, I keep coming back to the CBA meeting in Turlock last spring. We heard many voices of support and a few that spoke out against the CBA sponsoring a float in the Pride Parade. While there were some different religious and moral arguments against it, the main theme of naysayers was that it would attract the wrong type of crowd, bringing the types of people who wear only t-shirts and nothing else. Shirt-cocking aside, there was a healthy fear that somehow the CBA would change. It was in response to this overwhelming...
Cathy and Marcy weave their values into their music in a seamless and natural way. I admire this greatly. As musicians, they are always honing their craft, studying and learning and expanding boundaries by bringing together different musical styles. They are activists, educators, conscientious human beings, married partners, and they both have a zest for life. They are pioneers in embracing and promoting diversity in roots music. That is the theme of our conversation.
For most of my life, and mostly without my knowing, living within this stereotype has served as a kind of armor -- shielding me from risk and consequence. At times literally keeping me out of danger. Oftentimes garnering entrée or a degree of respect that I hadn’t yet earned. It has virtually always been okay to just be my authentic self and to share those qualities that make me “me” without a second thought.
I’ve never felt a need to be self-conscious about those qualities or to keep them hidden. I’ve never had a reason to.
And while you'll go to be supportive of the idea of inclusivity in bluegrass in general, the day will shift to where you, Dad, and Ross realize that you're really there for Christopher as you watch him march proudly, happier and more himself than you've ever seen him. This unwavering pride in your brother is where you'll find that long sought after familial feeling of love, belonging, and support. It will feel somewhat ironic that after running from your family problems into the welcoming embrace of the bluegrass community that bluegrass would ultimately bring your family together. But only because of Bluegrass Pride.
Besides Traditional Bluegrass, Community, Inclusivity, and Courage are the foundation of our values as an organization. We envision creating a cultural shift for all individuals seeking to join our community. Bottom line, we are here for you. Join us on your bluegrass journey, no matter your identity. In this community, we are all Handsome Ladies.