It’s been six years since you came out to your fans. Do you ever regret coming out publicly?
I don’t regret coming out publicly at all. I can’t believe it took me that long to finally experience freedom, joy and peace. I had three huge motivations. I wanted to tell my story on my own terms, and I wanted to do it in a way that could hopefully help other people. I know LGBTQ artists in Christian music, and if they had come out when I was a kid, I know how much that could have changed my life. And third, for my kids. When I came out, my daughter was 6 and my son was 2. I want my kids to grow up in a world where they’re not scared of being themselves. So I’m still very thankful that I did it for all three of those reasons.
Can you talk about what it’s been like writing and releasing music without a record label?
Record labels have the marketing money and power to promote you to radio stations, major streaming platforms and on YouTube and Facebook ads. I have not had any of that. But I feel like I’ve been writing the best, most authentic music of my life since I’ve come out. That’s such a wonderful feeling as an artist to be this far in my life and my career and to be making the most meaningful music I’ve ever made. And even with no label, marketing team, manager or booking agent behind me, I’m watching my music continue to blossom and grow and seeing more and more people find it.
Your album seems to reveal a complicated relationship with faith and with the church. What does that relationship look like today?
The older I’ve gotten, the more peace I’ve made with realizing there are lots of things you can’t know for sure. The most destructive things in my life have been the things people pretend to know that you can’t. That’s why I talk so much about fundamentalism, because to me it’s having to be right about something you can’t possibly know for sure. To me that’s the most toxic kind of spirituality.
One of the biggest things faith gave me as a kid was hope. I want to give that hope to my kids, and I don’t mind calling that hope God. Even in these last few months after losing my dad, it’s that hope that helps me process that. I didn’t get to have that closure with my dad. And I don’t know what happens after death, none of us do. But I like to think, somehow, he is with me. That he understands now. Even though he couldn’t be here with me, or part of my life with my boyfriend and my kids, that he gets to be now.
This article originally appeared on ReligionNews.com.