Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Kiss on The Cover.



"Are you guys comfortable kissing in front of the camera?"

"Sure, I mean, we are married." That's what I said out loud to the photographer who posed this question to me Monday morning on the 23rd floor of the Time Life Building. But my internal conversation went something like this. "They will never choose us anyway. They'll go with a guy couple. Or with Portia and Ellen. Not with me and Sarah. On the cover of Time Magazine. That would just be... INSANE!"

So we kissed. I mean. We are married. Even if it's only recognized in New York State and 8 others. This week The Supreme Court hear's opening arguments to repeal Prop 8 and DOMA. They're talking about MY CIVIL RIGHTS. And I'm showing up.

We're fighting for ourselves. But we're also fighting for our family. And for every single family that has a gay person in it. Most families have at least one these days. Even Honey Boo Boo has a gay uncle.

Joking aside, there are kids who get bullied every single day because of who they are. Some of these kids take their own lives because they think they're all alone and there's nobody else out there just like them. They think they will never have a family. I want them to see my life and my family, and I want them to know that they can have that too.

So while the cover of Time Magazine may give some people a little jolt this morning, I'm kissing my wife on the cover because the mother of a gay kid might see it and finally come around to letting her son or daughter back in the house. I'm kissing my wife on the cover because it's time for every American to have their civil rights.

And, let's be honest, I'm kissing my wife on the cover because Portia and Ellen probably weren't available...

#HanginwithHendo














It Takes One to Know One - Marriage Equality in New York State (a re-post from June, 2011)


I've come to blog here the past several days attempting to say something that hasn't already been said. I've spent quite a bit of time calling Senators, asking all my friends to call Senators, reading other blogs, posting comments, participating in certain threads where my time could have been better spent smashing my head into a brick wall, etc. You get the point.

The long and short of it is this.

There's nothing I can say here that hasn't already been said on various Senators personal Facebook pages (Senator Dean Skelos, Senator Greg Ball), or on The Huffington Post comment section of Sarah's Op-Ed, "My Children Have Everything...Except Married Parents.

I've read many inspiring posts from people all over New York who are in favor of Equality. And, unfortunately, I've read some posts from people against Equality. Thankfully, the posts against Equality are outnumbered, at least on the places I'm surfing the web (which are all the places I've listed above).

Usually the anti-equality posts are religiously fueled, and more often than not contain grammatical and spelling errors...I'm just saying. And I've yet to read a single post from that side of the argument that is strong enough to deny any human being their civil rights.

What those posts against Equality have done for me, however, is they've reminded me of what it was like growing up gay.

I've said it before, and I meant it, I didn't realize I was gay until I was nineteen. My brain couldn't even internalize the thought of being gay, that's how abhorent a concept it was for me. I buried it so deep down that I never once had a conscious inkling of it until I was in college.

I learned to fear being gay from the world I lived in. Nobody ever told me directly, "Kristen, don't be gay. It's a very bad thing." Yet, the noxious homophobic gas pumped into our society's air that I was breathing in on a daily basis made me know for sure that it was a really really bad thing to be.

I knew it.

You knew it.

And some people still think it.

So I'd like to share this story from my childhood with all the people who are posting against Equality. Even though I know none of you read my blog. This is my attempt to say something that hasn't already been said - or - This is me bashing my head against a brick wall again. Here goes:

Dear People Unwilling to Give Me My Equal Rights,

When I was growing up I was a tom boy.

Every kid has "their" reason for why they feel different. The kid with the acne, the kid with the hair that's too curly, the too fat kid, the too skinny kid, the kid with the thick glasses, the poor kid, and on and on.

Anyway. I was the kid who felt awkward every time my girlfriends wanted to do girly things. I didn't want to wear makeup or carry a Le Sports Sac. I wasn't comfortable with designer jeans, or leg warmers, or capezios. Every day I wore my Lee Jeans and Pro-Keds. That was my uniform, day in and day out. While it doesn't sound that bad, every day I got dressed I thought about how different I felt.

I know. Whoopeeding. I wasn't picked on. I would have picked on you first. And I wasn't bullied. I would have bullied you first. Think about that for a second, anti-equality person posting on the internet.

I was an athlete. I loved sports. I played every season. I lived for it.

One season, my high school coach was a lesbian. We didn't know this because she was "out." We knew this because she looked like a dyke - I'm just going to use the word. She was very stereotypically lesbian looking in every way.

She threatened me to my core.

But I was 15 years old and I had coping mechanisms in place to be sure I was not affected by her existence at all.

What I did was write a "funny jingle" for everyone on the team to sing. It was a song about how gross and abhorent our scary lesbian coach was. And I would sing it.

The memory is so overwhelming for me that it stops me dead in my tracks. Fifteen year old me felt I had to sing a song about the grossness of my lesbian coach so that my teammates, and I for that matter, wouldn't catch on that I was a lesbian too.

Fear. Breeds. Intolerance. Fear. Breeds. Hatred. Fear. Breeds. Bullies.

Much worse things have come from fear than a really bad jingle sung in a high school locker room.

We have an opportunity to alleviate some of the fear that maybe your fifteen year old son or daughter or niece or nephew or neighbor might feel one day. That alone should be enough reason to vote for Equality.

#Hendo

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bobby McGee in the Key of C




People keep asking me if we are going out on tour anytime soon. And the answer is.....soon. maybe. ish. no. not really. sporadic dates here and there. Got it?

Before we embark on any official tour, you know, the type with a string of dates all in a row, we plan to release a new EP. EP is code for a CD with 5 or 6 songs on it. EP stands for Extended Play. I personally do not understand how fewer songs than a full length CD means Extended Play. But. It. Does.

We recently wrote a song with Lori McKenna called "That Was The Whiskey," and we plan to release it as the first single from our EP. People seem to be having very enthusiastic and positive reactions to the song. And that's a very very nice thing, when people have positive reactions to your songs.

When we were signed to a major label, they often would say things like "it's not a single." Which always made me wonder, "why the heck did you sign us, you dingbats?" But, you know what, I'm running toward the light these days, so let's not relive that silliness. We need to live in the present. And in the present we have a new song called "That Was The Whiskey" that even record people from the label we are no longer affiliated with say is a "hit single." And they have nothing to gain from saying that because we are no longer signed to their label. In fact, the label no longer exists, which says a lot about labels and what they know about hit singles.

So let's not say "That Was The Whiskey" is a hit single. Let's just say it's a catchy fun song that makes my kids want to sing along. In fact, during my special day at my twins Pre-K, Kate told the teacher that her mom was going to sing a song for the class called "The Whiskey." And it was awkward. Very. Very. Awkward.

To summarize what is happening in Antigone land:  We are going to be playing sporadic live dates through the spring and summer. We are recording our new EP at Campy Town Studios on Long Island to be released later this Spring (2013). And we are going to launch some type of extremely creative fund raising campaign in the coming days/weeks/maybe month to raise money so we can properly promote and market our new EP with an extremely strong focus on our song "That Was The Whiskey."

We are discussing the possibility of filming a video for the song. So if you are a fledgling amazingly brilliant video maker or if you happen to know of one, please send them our way immediately. We are interested in seeing what you or your video making friends are capable of doing.

Once all of these balls are rolling in the right direction, we will plan a tour - one with strings of dates all in a row that will include all towns, not just those within 2 hours of our homes in New York & New Jersey!

And I will blog more about our latest project very soon.

LISTEN TO THE UPCOMING SINGLE, "THAT WAS THE WHISKEY" RIGHT HERE:


#Hendo'sBackAtTheBlogLet'sHang.



ps-anyone with opinions about kickstarter vs. pledge music vs. DIY fundraising, please sound off here. we want to know what you think!

Some of our sporadic dates - more to be announced:

Friday - April 12, 2013 - The Mercury Lounge, NYC
Buy Tickets Now

Saturday - May 4, 2013 - Northampton Pride Festival
3 County Fairgrounds - Northampton, MA
More info.

July 6 Hartford, CT Riverfest
July 13 Athens, NY Athens Street Festival