I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was hoping for this: Singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile has officially commented on her sexuality for the first time since she signed to Columbia Records and released two hit albums, including the newest, Give up the Ghost. The verdict: She’s gay. Here’s where we all say, “Duh” but give her a virtual fist bump.
The Seattle-based musician that has a country-pop-alt-rock sound has toured extensively with The Indigo Girls, giving her wide exposure to gay women and fans of contemporary folk that came out to see Amy Ray and Emily Salier (myself included). While it was clear to most fans that she was a lesbian (on-stage jokes or sly winks when singing a love song about a man added to the intrigue), Brandi did not speak about her orientation with the press, and only recently mentioned her partner, Kim, in a speech she gave for her Looking Out foundation.
This week, she spoke with The L.A. Times pop critic Ann Powers, and opened up about her sexuality, saying, “I don’t think it factors in to the way people relate to the lyrics” and that she wants to be someone that young gay women can look up to.
“I hope that somewhere in Small Town, USA, a 15-year-old kid looks to me as a role model the way I looked at the Indigo Girls and Elton John as role models,” Brandi said. “And I hope they also recognize that the reason why I don’t have to have a lot of formality around it, the reason why I don’t have to wear it on my sleeve and make a spectacle of it, is because there were people before me who paved the way so I wouldn’t have to.”
15-year-olds and 50-year-olds alike, I’m sure, will be glad to see Brandi is opening up about her being a lesbian, because not only is she talented, but she’s incredibly successful. We could always use another beautiful and intelligent face as a representation of our community.
The rest of the article includes a lot of great information on the recording of Give Up the Ghost and her career so far. But one of my favorite parts is when Powers describes Brandi’s ideas for what she’d like to do now that the new album is out and doing well.
Her hopes for the immediate future involve one television spot — “I wanna go on Ellen, ” she said with a shy grin.
I think we’d all like to see that. Get on it, Ellen!