Baldrige posted a video of herself singing, “And I’ve been housing all this doubt and insecurity and I’ve been locked inside that house all the while You hold the key. And I’ve been dying to get out, and that might be the death of me. And even though, there’s no way in knowing where to go, promise I’m going because,” from Relient K’s song “Be My Escape,” on her Instagram page promoting the upcoming tour.
She also posted an image of her seventh grade journal on Instagram, which included a drawing of Relient K and DC Talk’s names, calling it the “power of manifestation.” The message caught the eye of DC Talk’s Kevin Max on Twitter and he replied to Baldridge saying, “Congrats and based on that notebook a DC Talk tour with you should be next.” Former Caedmon’s Call singer Derek Webb then posted, “um need one more opener?”
Flooding all her social media accounts with the tour news, Baldrige posted a TikTok video saying, “We are performing live on stage with Matt Thiessen (Relient K’s lead singer and guitarist) and a pride flag.” Baldridge said that she was in the studio recording new music and told her fans that “because of your support and everything that’s happened over the past year, ‘Relient Gay’ is occurring. Please get your tickets. They’re selling really fast.” Baldridge explained that “Relient Gay” was a queer Christian band her and fans discussed starting as a joke, because she is a fan of Relient K.
Earlier this year, Baldridge documented herself on TikTok seeking the Christian band Switchfoot’s approval of people living an LGBTQ+ lifestyle. Although her first attempt at a Switchfoot show didn’t give her the answer she desired, Baldridge’s TikTok video reached the band’s lead singer Jon Foreman. Less than 24 hours after the concert, Foreman posted a message through TikTok to Baldridge saying, “Yes, I support your rights to freedoms. I want you to feel loved and supported. I want you to feel treasured and valued and seen. I want all love and joy and beauty and truth for you.”
The Tour Announcement Receives Mix Reactions
Site pastor Adam Baker of the Gathering Church in West Groves, Missouri praised Baldridge, saying, “Sometimes God’s restoring looks like a punk band inviting a singer-songwriter (who identifies as LGBTQ+) on tour w/ them, effectively telling many ostracized by the church that ‘hey, you’re welcome here’! A Joel 2:25-26 moment. Grateful for this, @relientK & @gracebaldridge!”
Others replied to Relient K’s announcement praising them for having an openly queer artist who sings about her Christian upbringing on the tour.
“Ah yes i can now listen to Relient K and relive my teenage years without feeling gross,” one fan wrote. Another said, “Not me CRYING that I get to see my favorite band AND the person who wrote the only songs that just get what it’s like to a queer pastor’s kid. This has already landed at the best concert of my life and it’s in April.”
“I used to only listen to Christian artists when I was a closeted teenager, and I phased all of them – including y’all – out as I left the faith and finally found myself,” someone else replied. “Thank you thank you thank you for letting people like me know it’s safe to come back to y’all. Thank you.”