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Pushing the Envelope

05:21 Download
Kate Reid
10/02/2017

Story

Pushing the Envelope is the first song I composed for Out at School, an arts-based research project I'm involved with at OISE, University of Toronto. Out at School a multi-media verbatim monologue theatre production based on interviews conducted with LGBTQ+ families and youth about their experiences in Ontario public schools. You can find more about Out at School and the LGBTQ Families Speak Out project here: www.lgbtqfamiliesspeakout.ca 

Lyrics

Pushing the Envelope - Kate Reid 
May 2017

The same old question runs around in my mind
Should I speak or should I just keep quiet?
As though I owe them some kind of disclosure or explanation
Every single time and in every single situation 

Some people don’t even have think about it
They don’t look beyond their own realities
How can we make sense of ourselves in this absence that’s present everyday?
It’s like we’re fighting something bigger than we can name

Chorus:
One day we won’t need to be
Pushing the envelope
We won’t be represented by   
Permission slips home
And it won’t be trendy 
To advertise our families
And we won’t be legitimized 
By posters on a wall


I don’t see myself amongst these pages 
The people I love are nowhere to be found 
Will someone please explain all this controversy around the word “family”?
Because I know that love and community create kinship, too


Anytime you bend the gender rules folks tend to notice
They always want to put you back in the box
What would it mean to live without the fear of being interrogated
To be free to articulate our bodies any way we want?

Chorus:
One day we won’t need to be
Pushing the envelope        
We won’t be represented by  
Permission slips home  
And it won’t be trendy
To advertise our families
And we won’t be legitimized
By posters on a wall


Bridge: 
And I still feel this tension between 
Wanting to be accepted
And wanting to let my freak flag fly
But I’m not a character in their narrative
And I won’t rehearse their lines for them 
I’m writing a new script for you and me 
About the beauty 
Of non-conformity

We weave ourselves into the fabric of this world
Disrupting constructions of “boy” and “girl” and “boy-meets-girl”
Changing language and policy  
Celebrating families, loves ones, and identities
If we raise our voices strong, we shall overcome
 

Chorus: 
One day we won’t need to be
Pushing the envelope        
We won’t be represented by  
Permission slips home  
And it won’t be trendy
To advertise our families
And we won’t be legitimized
By posters on a wall