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Pushing the Envelope

05:21 Download
Kate Reid
10/02/2017
Kate Reid

Story

The song, “Pushing the Envelope” was composed by Kate Reid as a part of Prof. Tara Goldstein’s research project entitled LGBTQ Families Speak Out (www.lgbtqfamiliesspeakout.ca) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. Through video interviews and subsequent verbatim theatre scripts which Prof. Goldstein's team have written based on some of the interview material, the goal of Prof. Goldstein’s research is to document and disseminate to teachers, community educators, and families, the experiences of children of LGBTQ families in Ontario schools. The song “Pushing the Envelope” is based on some of the interview data and verbatim monologue scripts and sets to music some of the experiences recounted in select interviews with LGBTQ Families and their children. 

Written and performed by: Kate Reid, 2017
Recorded by: Stew Crookes
Produced by Kate Reid and Stew Crookes

Kate Reid: vocals, acoustic guitar
Stew Crookes: pedal steel
Doug Friesen: stand-up and electric bass
Roger Travassos: percussion

Lyrics

Pushing the Envelope               
by: Kate Reid - 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: G, F, C
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

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