Paul V. here, author of Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay.
First, I send a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has so fervently supported my book. And as a gift to show my appreciation, I’ve created a megamix of incredible music (above) - all created by the LGBTQ community (and a few non-gay allies, too).
As you might know, I've been a club DJ for 30 years now, and back when I was coming up (and out) in the early 80's, it was just about the greatest era for music. And it was a time when many artists and musicians did not hide their sexuality. With everyone from Boy George to Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys) to Frankie Goes To Hollywood to Jimmy Sommerville (Bronski Beat) and Marc Almond (Soft Cell), these were my heroes and my peers at the time. And what a thrill it was to play their songs in the clubs I worked at during that era.
You'll find all of them in the mix, along with my good friend Andy Bell of Erasure (who is in my book), and some newer artists like Hercules & Love Affair, Ladyhawke, Gossip, Adam Lambert, Le Tigre, Scissor Sisters, and of course Sia (who is also in the book). They are all carrying the torch for LGBTQ pride. And though Freddie Mercury (Queen) was never officially out, we knew his truth. And his spirit rules this mix!
There's also some bits of comedy and many other artists I will leave to surprise you. And, as I like to keep you dancing, this is a continuous 30-minute DJ mix.
And to all, happy National Coming Out Day! Some people ask, "do people really STILL need to come out?" And the answer is a resounding YES! I've been out since since age 19 in 1981, and I remember very clearly that when I first told my closest friends and my family, that it gave me a sense of calm and clarity I'd never felt before. Living with a secret or not being authentic to who you really are is, in a word, exhausting! And the weight of being closeted sort of feels like hiding from the police for a crime you never committed.
Also, coming out and being out not only affects your own life positively, it has that effect on others, and creates a dialogue with the people closest to you. But most importantly, if positively effects the lives of the younger generation of LGBT kids, who need to be shown self-acceptance, and not shame. It's something I'm honored to help put forth through my blog, and now my book.
So - come out, be authentic, stay proud, and pay it forward!
Yours in LGBTQ authenticity,
DJ Paul V. (aka Paul Vitagliano)