By Tessa Osteen
Country music’s biggest star at the moment, Kacey Musgraves, explained in an interview at the New Yorker Festival how it’s very upsetting that country music isn’t more inclusive to the LGBT community. The singer/songwriter explains to an audience member how, “It’s crazy that a certain kind of person could feel excluded from a genre that’s so real – or supposed to be real… I love the genre so much, I felt, well fine, maybe I’ll just have an all gay audience.” Coming from a personal experience with a friend coming out to her, the gay community has in a way shaped how Kacey Musgraves has shifted the narrative within the country music community with an intention to make it more of a place where everyone can enjoy music.
Honored and received with much praise from her LGBT audience, she has always tried to make her music an inclusive atmosphere for everyone to enjoy and listen to. Her earlier work, like with the song “Follow Your Arrow”, tries to normalize same-sex relationships with the lyrics, “make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys, or kiss lots of girls, if that’s what you’re into.” Kacey has also explained how, “I keep dreaming of the day when we have a gay country music icon, that is loud and proud and really, like, a hero for country music fans, especially in these small towns where [LGBT people] are terrified of being themselves and feel like they have to hide.” Just last year she made a “love letter” towards the gay community during pride month expressing her gratitude towards them.
Musgraves also points out how, “Country music has always been about real life…If you look back at Hank Williams and Willie Nelson and all them, their songs were all about heartbreak.. and divorce and cheating and losing your job, and all these things that are struggles in everyday life…And coming out is no different.” Along with advocating for gay rights, she also speaks up about the lack of female artists on country music stations. She explains how, “My husband and I decided, out of sheer boredom, to listen to country radio and tally the number of males versus females we heard,..It was, not shockingly, so offensive, two females among (31) males in about a couple of hours. We also tallied the number of times (35) we heard references to a woman’s body or skimpy clothing, or the actions the man wanted her to do, and we’re being told women want to hear that over hearing other women?” As one may notice, Kacey Musgraves is dedicated to making her audience feel as welcome as possible during a time where it politically may be seen as divisive to some.