I'm beyond excited about this. I've always enjoyed country music, but when the Dixie Chicks -- a group of hip, outspoken, tradition-bending women -- came on the scene, it was like a breath of fresh air! Ask me which song of theirs is my favorite, and there's no way I'd be able to give you a simple answer. To me, their music speaks to emotions and mood, which adds a layer of complexity that I love!
I was a senior high school when the controversy happened and, I have to say, that made me love them even more. It happened at a time in my life when I was figuring out who I was and what I stand for. I learned quickly that my beliefs often didn't match the beliefs of those around me -- and that wasn't an easy pill to swallow.
I'm from Nebraska, something I've always been proud of. At the same time, that part of my identity was also very confusing to me. The Dixie Chicks taught me that it's okay not to fit into a mold. I can still love Nebraska, love country music (both old and new), love wearing Tony Lamas AND believe that everyone has a right to love and marry who they wish, that our country shouldn't start wars for no good reason, that everyone should be allowed to worship as they choose -- and if they don't have a religion, that's okay, too.
Given the recent tragic events our country has endured, it seems the Dixie Chicks -- and their messages of peace, love and acceptance -- are more relevant now than ever.
My good friend Zac, who saw the trio just last week, said it best:
The Dixie Chicks were there for me when I was an angry 16 year old gay kid growing up in Nebraska and they're there for me when I'm a 26 year old angry gay man in the world. Keep fighting. Keep loving. Never give up. Remember: pride is a verb.