Since we started Girls Behind The Rock Show, I’ve always penned a letter on this day. Usually about progress and moving forward and being inclusive.
This year is a little different. Over the past 3 1/2 years I’ve been blessed to meet so many incredible young women and non-men. Ones who inspire, aspire and put my work ethic to shame. I’ve watched friends move up the ranks of the industry and have even lost a few great people along the way.
But one thing I’ve always neglected to do was reflect on just how much this company and those who believe in it have taught me. I grew up privileged. I am a cis, white female and I had to realize the privilege that gave me and how that led me to the opportunity to start this company. I didn’t understand right away. “We’re all women.” I would say. I would tell myself that I was fighting for everyone. And it took a lot of patience among a lot of incredible women and non-men to say, “we may all be fighting for the same thing, but we don’t all have the same fight.”
That realization made GBTRS 100% more impactful to me. What I started had to be inclusive, I had to sit down, shut up and let young non-binary people speak for themselves. I had to recognize that black women have been leading the feminist movement since its inception. I had to realize that as a white cis woman, I was still going to make more on the dollar than a Latinx women in my community.
We took a drastic turn in narrative as these issues became more raised. We became more vocal, more resilient and more disruptive. As the team grew, I added voices and narratives that went beyond my own experiences, attended conferences and talked to people about being more than a foot in the door. All the while were growing, the world is changing and the ugliness in our neighbors showed their true color.
I reckoned with being a member of the LGBTQ+ community, attended my first pride and made sure every playlist I had had an LGBTQ+ artist on it. I listened. I listened to young black Women want to do more than Urban music and be able to affect pop, country, rock and more on a global scale. I listened to Latinx youth wondering why their language is only now becoming represented while almost half the country speaks fluent Spanish.
I cried to LGBTQ+ artists who understood how alone I could feel. We got angry about these issues. And we spoke up. We’re not as loud of a voice as we’d like to be. But we’re a voice. A collective of souls who come from so many different backgrounds and lifestyles and yet all want the same thing.
Today, is International Women’s Day. And I want to give a beautiful speech or letter or rallying cry from the ages but the truth is, all I want to say is thank you for teaching me more than I could have ever expected to know. And while I may be the founder and head of GBTRS, each of you are a crucial and critical part of it’s foundation, the voice we have the one we plan to grow.
Happy Intersectional Women’s Day. Thank you for teaching me what I am truly fighting for.