Yeah. I just felt that what I was doing was rooted in a community- either real or imagined- and that my connection to that community was what made my writing and singing matter. I didn’t feel that those connections were casual connections. I felt that they were essential connections. I was a serious young man, you know? I had serious ideas about rock music. Yeah, it was also a circus and fun and a dance party- all of those things- but still a serious thing. I believed that serious things could be done with it. It had a power; it had a voice. I still fucking believe that. I really do.
And I assume that your being here today means that you want gays and lesbians to feel they’re a part of this community-this big country?
Yeah, very much so. The ongoing clarification of the way I feel, of my ideas, where I stand on different issues: That’s my work now. That’s why this interview is a great opportunity for me. Hey- you write, and you want your music understood.
When you fell in love with your wife Patti, there was a lot of negativity in the press because your marriage to Julianne Phillips was breaking up. Did your experience with this kind of intrusion into your private life give you any idea what it’s like for gays and lesbians, who constantly get criticized for who they love?
It’s a strange society that assumes it has the right to tell people whom they should love and whom they shouldn’t. But the truth is, I basically ignored the entire thing as much as I could. I said, „Well, all I know is, this feels real, and maybe I have got a mess going here in some fashion, but that’s life.”
But that’s everything: This feels real.
That’s it. Trust yourself in the end. Those are the only lights that can go by, and the world will catch up. But I think it would be much more difficult to be gay, particularly in the town that I grew up in. Divorce may have been difficult for me, but I don’t know what it would be like to have . your heart in one place and have somebody say, „Hey, you can’t do that.” So all anybody can do is do their best. Like when President Clinton came into office, the first thing he tried to do was have gays in the military. I thought, Wow! A leader. I just felt that was leading.