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Let Love be the Way

04:21 Download
Kate Reid
06/20/2018
Kate Reid

Story

I was commissioned by Dr. Tara Goldstein to compose and record this song, "Let Love be the Way" based on a set of interviews conducted for the LGBTQ Families Speak Out project taking place at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE - University of Toronto). As an artist-researcher on Tara's research team, among other research duties, I am tasked with going through interview material and composing songs that support the research project and speak to the themes that emerge in the interviews we conduct with LGBTQ families about their experiences in Ontario schools.

This particular song speaks to the overarching theme in the latest set of interviews I worked with where LGBTQ families and people often have to explain their bodies, families, and relationships to school personnel (and to society). This "labour of explaining" happens either pre-emptively, that is, in order to avoid questions and confusion in the future from students and/or school personnel; or, it happens in response to questions and confusion directed at them from another person(s) in a given moment. It is a particular kind of emotional and spiritual labour that gender and sexually-conforming people do not have to engage in. So, the song, "Let Love be the Way" attempts to "turn the tables" and invites gender and sexually-conforming people to do the labour of thinking through their own privileges and to deeply consider the questions posed in the song. In this way, it attempts to disrupt the comfort and ease of what it means to inhabit bodies, claim identities, and engage in relationships that are normative. It also troubles the idea that accommodating people is enough.

For more information on the LGBTQ Families Speak Out project, please go to: www.lgbtqfamiliesspeakout.ca 
I hope you enjoy "Let Love be the Way"!  
Kate xo

Produced by Stew Crookes and Kate Reid 
Assistant engineering by Andrew Scott

Kate Reid (vocals, acoustic guitar)
Andrew Scott (drums, percussion)
Kurt Nielsen (bass)
Todd Lumley (piano and synth)

Lyrics

Let Love be the Way                                                                                       
May 2018


Hey there, hello, you don’t know me
And I don’t know you
But I have a question or two
Thought I’d turn the tables 
On you

What's it like to walk down the street with your partner 
And never wonder “what if”?
To know that wherever you go together
You’re safe because your love blends in?

Could you imagine being unexpected, unforeseen
In the grand scheme of things? 
Then have to reveal yourself, describe and define your love
Your children, your family?


Chorus:

What would it take to let love be the way
Could you listen to people and raise them up? 
Could you up your own game and say “no big deal”
Be inspired instead of afraid? 


How would it feel to live two separate lives
To hide your true self away? 
To have to conform to someone else’s arbitrary rules
And always be asked to explain?

Have you ever had to carve out a space for yourself
Because there was no room for you?
Imagine there were only five choices to line up at school
LGBT and Q?

Chorus:
What would it take to let love be the way
Could you listen to people and raise them up? 
Could you up your own game and say “no big deal”
Be inspired instead of afraid?

Have you ever had to try and justify your body
To people you’ve never met
Or tried to translate yourself into someone else’s language
To make yourself legible?

Do you have to defend which public bathroom you use? 
Have you ever thought about that? 
And felt them attempt to decipher your intentions
While you’re standing there washing your hands?


Have you ever been told that you don’t know who you are
Your pronouns are wrong, they don’t match, they’re grammatically incorrect, 
Your name is wrong, your clothes are wrong, your hair is wrong
Your feelings are wrong, your love is wrong
You are wrong? 


Chorus:
What would it take to let love be the way
Could you listen to people and raise them up? 
Could you up your own game and say “no big deal”
Be inspired instead of afraid? 
What would it take to let love be the way
Could you listen to people and raise them up? 
Could you up your own game and say “no big deal”
Be inspired, could you be brave? 


Has someone with good intentions worked to accommodate you
And tried to fit you in
Have you ever considered how accommodating someone
Doesn’t really change anything?