The Hallowed Wide is a study in empathy, perspective, and understanding, so it felt important to me to include a song with arms open specifically to the LGTBQ+ community.

Soooooooooo many of my dearest friends throughout my life (and a huge percentage of my most darling, heart-changing students) have been LGTBQ+.

My first experience with a true paradigm shift came on the heels of the comings-out of a few loved ones in the mid 2010’s. It was a profound experience to watch and feel my “gut instincts” (socially-constructed feelings about right/wrong/normal etc.) shift and broaden. I’d always been taught that those inner instincts and reactions were god-given, and that they really meant something permanent and trustworthy. But it became SO clear to me in retrospect that I just needed to teach my gut something new.

This lesson really sticks with me. It’s something I actively investigate all the time. And more often than not (especially when applied to people), the gut instinct is really just fear, tribalism, misunderstanding, judgement, etc. I’ve found it takes work to really equalize my inner compass around otherness, until something longer feels “other.” It’s a labor of love to rewire those instincts to be more inclusive.

Pride culture is full of color and exuberance. And I think sometimes people can have a tendency to interpret all of that color as frivolity—wholly disregarding that all of this literal color is a radical, brave, thoughtful denial of the figurative black and white options we’ve been taught to accept.

So. Bleed in Color is a love letter specifically to my rainbow brothers, sisters, and thems, but it’s a hopeful message for all sorts of colorful “others” in the world. And even more, it’s a call to the rest of us to look for and really actively see the colors within our gorgeous companions on this planet—we absolutely must stop forcing each other’s vibrant individuality to come out as pain and devastation before we acknowledge its value, its existence. We have to actively believe that beauty exists where we cannot immediately or easily see it—this is what “Make It Hallowed” means. 🩸🌈✨