Hozier, a name not known to many until 2014, quickly became an ally to the LGBT community with his debut single “Take Me To Church.” While the song itself can be applied to couples across the board, the video took a route that showed the horrors many same-sex couples still face. The video portraying one half of a gay couple being beaten and tortured by a gang for their sexuality. A dark commentary that is brave for an artists first official video and single.
Besides becoming one of the biggest hits of 2015, the video sparked outrage and has over a million views and still growing. It created a whirlwind of press and Hozier was soon on a worldwide tour with thousands of people singing every word. With lyrics like “I was born sick, but I love it,” many grasped onto the beauty of human sexuality and how there is nothing wrong with it.
Hozier who grew up in Ireland, which is predominantly Catholic country, has taken a very outspoken approach to a historically anti-gay establishment. Ireland did become the first country to allow same-sex marriage by popular vote as of November 2015. Hozier flew back from his tour to Ireland to vote in the historic gay marriage act. He spent weeks urging fans in Ireland to vote for equality. Luckily they did. But sadly, that ‘culutral hangover’ of gay being wrong still resonates to some. While other countries like Russia with anti-gay laws create an unsafe environment for anyone on the spectrum. Hozier in an interview with New York Magazine in 2014 expresses such.
“The video parallels that — it’s a statement against state oppression and homophobia in Russia.
Absolutely, yes. It references the very organized attacks against LGBT youths that are carried out with impunity, without action from law enforcement. There are a lot of far-right guys who film these attacks. Because the song was always about sexuality and about organizations that would undermine humanity at its most natural, we thought that — in Ireland, the church doesn’t really have that kind of strength that it did, but there will always be organizations that will, and there will always be organizations that try. Hopefully there won’t be one day, but there are, and this is a pure example of that.
It’s people carrying out terrible acts through the justification of far-right traditionalism, and also a long campaign to make homosexuality equivalent with things like pedophilia and bestiality, which is absolutely appalling. So that’s what we wanted to show. The video wasn’t over exaggerating anything. We just wanted to tell it how it is.”
In countless interviews, he has discussed his disgust with the rage towards the LGBT community. Despite some awkward interviews asking about his own sexuality, he has remained adamant that having the same rights as heterosexual couples is a basic human right. He also continually expresses that sexuality is part of being human and shouldn’t be shamed despite religious beliefs.
Hozier being a new, young artist has taken on an extremely important platform very early on his career. It shows his tremendous character. There still is so much more to fight for the LGBT community and with artists like him, I think we’ll win.
So thank you Hozier for being a strong voice for a beautiful community.
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