"My first album...I mixed "I Feel Pretty" with "Say It Loud—I'm Black and I'm Proud"...I never thought it would create such a divide in my family...my aunts weren't calling me...nothing. I finally called my aunt and said, "What's that about?" and we began to have one of those uncomfortable yet necessary conversations, and what we got very clear on was that her version of me was based in my fear-based childhood, where you're not living your life for you, you're trying to just stay safe. I think often our families don't think about that—even though my whole family has known I was gay since I was a little kid—they don't think about the signals that you're being sent that are saying, 'This is not a kind world for someone like you.' She said, 'I never knew you to dress like this or do that,' and I said, 'Did you ever think you have not yet met the most authentic version of me? I invite you to meet me.' It was a hard conversation."
Welcome to the land of Kyle Taylor Parker! We talk about his liberating experience in Kinky Boots, infusing his truth into his work, and producing his solo album Broadway Soul, Vol. 2 during the time of the ‘Rona.
Recommendation: All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson
Shout out: Britton Smith (and his band Britton & The Sting)