In spite of Pride parades, LGBT rights, antihomophobia and antitransphobia policies, rainbow crosswalks, and the like, coming out as LGBT still remains a very personal, difficult struggle for many people.
In spite of the progress made and although there are more individuals coming out at younger ages and with less difficulty, it will still take generations before internalized discrimination lessens to a minimum. That's particularly true for those who have come from parts of or communities in Canada, or even other parts of the world, where LGBT acceptance or visibility is still limited or opposed.
In light of that fact, as we countdown to Vancouver Pride celebrations with relevant Canadian songs, here's a song by a Canadian pop star that conveys hope for those still wrestling with inner demons of being honest with one's self.
Corey Hart, the '80s pop heartthrob with a perma-pout who had hits such as "Sunglasses at Night" and "Never Surrender", recorded a song on his 1988 album Young Man Running. The song "The Truth Will Set You Free" was inspired by others he knew in the music business who were growing up silently suffering in the closet but the meaning of the song was kept subtle. It wasn't released as a single.
In 2011, a DJ from Kingston, Ontario, named Paul Todd, aka 1Love, contacted Hart about sampling the song.
Hart and Todd wound up collaborating and reinventing the song as a dance track with revised lyrics entitled "Truth Will Set U Free". It was released in 2012 and marked Hart's first single released to Canadian radios after 12 years (and after 20 years in the U.S.).
The new line "Shepard's star surviving" is a reference to Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay U.S. student who was beaten and tortured by homophic attackers and left to die in Wyoming in 1998.
The video features Hart as a taxi driver giving various passengers rides. Unfortunately, while opposite-sex couples are shown kissing, no same-sex kisses or affectionate gestures are shown.
Nonetheless, the lyrical message remains as relevant as ever. Hopefully it can provide some sense of support or inspiration for those who have yet to join the LGBT party.