The conversation has been ongoing. Third Eye Blind’s Steven Jenkins talked about it in his 1998 hit, “Jumper.” The inspiration for the song was a friend of Jenkins’ who committed suicide by jumping off of a bridge. He was gay and a victim of bullying.
“The song is kind of a noir, because it’s really talking to somebody who is already dead,” the lead singer explained. “So this is kind of what you would say (to him).
“When I wrote it, there was this kind of darkness to it. But now when I sing it, it feels exalted, and you see the audience… they sing most of it, I kind of let them sing it… and you can see this release. So I find a lot of joy in that song now. Maybe that’s bouncing back and reflecting the times.”
Perhaps it is – fast forward to 2015 and indie-rock outfit Walk The Moon is releasing, “Different Colors,” a song about acceptance and unity, to radio.
“It feels really relevant to be playing it right now, and really cool,” guitarist Eli Maiman.
“It’s incredible,” lead singer Nick Petricca added. “We’re just all on the same team out here and it’s cool to feel a part of a movement.”
Maiman noted that the song started as a “rallying cry,” but feels more like a “victory march” when it’s played these days. Again, it’s a reflection of the times – the fact that the movement is deemed “cool” is a step in itself. When you add in the Supreme Court ruling and the light that Caitlyn Jenner is shining on the LGBT community, specifically for Trans people, it is easy to see why the momentum behind equality is stronger than ever.
But as Jenner reminded us Wednesday night at The ESPY Awards, there is plenty of work to still be done. She mentioned Sam Taub, a 15 year-old Transgender boy from Bloomfield, Mich. who committed suicide in April.
“Sam’s story haunts me in particular because his death came just a few days before ABC aired my interview with Diane Sawyer,” Jenner said to the audience. The former Olympian was honored by ESPN with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. “Every time something like this happens, people wonder, ‘Could it have been different, if spotlighting this issue with more attention could have changed the way things happen?’ We’ll never know.”
Jenner admitted that she contemplated taking her own life as well. Now she’s hoping that her actions can help others, if by nothing else, keeping the conversation alive.