Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Amazing Broadway Support For Orlando: "What The World Needs Now Is Love"

An awesome collection of Broadway luminaries has
just released a benefit song for Orlando shooting victims
and LGBT advocacy in Orlando.
My husband Jeff told me last night I should find out about "Broadway For Orlando," and effort to help the LGBT community after the Orlando shooting.

Great suggestion, Chief! (I call my husband Chief.)

Broadway for Orlando is something absolutely wonderful.

About 60 Broadway luminaries gathered in a recording studio on June 15 - just three days after the Orlando shooting - to record the Burt Bacharach and Hal David classic "What The World Needs Now Is Love."

Watch the stirring video of it at the bottom of this post. If their performance of this song doesn't move you at least a little, nothing will

Among the broadway luminaries taking part were Lin-Manuel Miranda (from "Hamilton); Kristen Bell, Gloria Estefa, Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, Idina Mezel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rosie Perez, Sara Bareilles, Wayne Brody, Rosie O'Donnell, Bernadette Peters, Carole King, Chita Rivera, Tommy Tune and Matthew Broderick.

Broadway for Orlando could not have chosen a better song for this effort, with the lyrics:

"What the world needs now is love, sweet love.
It's the only thing that there's just too little of.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No, not just for some but for everyone."

As a gay man, I'm thrilled to live in a changed world in which most people accept us for who we are, that I was able to marry the love of my life, even though he's the same gender as me. Things are much better than they were even a decade ago, never mind 30, 40, 50 years ago.

My favorite aunt was Aunt Irene. She was smart and funny and cool, always tooling around in her Ford Mustangs.

Aunt Irene also drank herself to death. I know now she was a lesbian, and back in the day -1950s, 1960, 1970s -  there was no way she could be who she was.

I have no proof of this, but I'm convinced the fact she couldn't openly live her life killed her.  Hate, intolerance and ignorance is a terribly efficient killer.

Years later, people bravely started coming out as gay, and when most reasonable people discovered they knew gay people and those people were just fine, the anti-gay balloon began deflating

This paved the way for people like me. I don't have to be alone and hidden like Aunt Irene. I'm proud of my husband, and who I am. Jeff and I have built a sweet life together. You know, love, sweet love, as the song goes.

But the love, as Broadway for Orlando tells us, it is not just for some, but for everyone. Or should be anyway.
Broadway stars record "What The World Needs Now
Is Love" to benefit the Orlando LGBT community. 

I know there's a lot of people like Aunt Irene. I mean still, to this day.

Anti-gay bigotry killed those 49 people in Orlando's Pulse nightclub. It also kills people quietly.

It's the so called Christian parents or churches or relatives who find out a kid is gay and rejects him or her.

The Trevor Project, an advocacy group for gay youth, tells us suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 24, and LGBT are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.

Gay kids who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times as likely to attempt suicide as their gay peers who report no or low levels of family rejection, says the Trevor Project. 

Then we have the small but odious band of people in the U.S. who call themselves Christian and regularly try to beat the gay community down.

There's so-called Pastor Steven Anderson, who celebrated the deaths of the 49 people in Orlando shorting after the massacre.

There's also alleged Pastor Roger Jimenez, who wished the 53 people injured in the shooting at that gay nightclub would just die already because most of them were gay. (The owner of the building that leases space to Jimenez's "church" is so upset with the comments that they're kicking him and his church out.)

These are extreme examples, of course. But this kind of rhetoric is dangerous. Most people wouldn't act on these bigoted speeches, but a few wackos could.

I feel relatively safe being who I am, but not completely safe. I know there are hateful bigots that want me dead. Or to at least go away.

The hatred that still lingers. Statistics are iffy, but between 20 and 30 people are murdered in anti-LGBT violence annually. Most victims are people of color.

So yes, Broadway for Orlando is exactly right. What the world needs now is love, sweet love for everyone.

I'm also grateful Broadway for Orlando is continuing to publicize and push this so hard to raise money for The Center in Orlando. I noticed the Broadway luminaries got together again to perform "What the World Needs Now Is Love" on the Maya and Marty show on NBC last night. 

Sirius XM Rado host Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley decided on Monday, June 13 to organize the benefit single, People magazine reports. By Wednesday, the recording was done.

"We started making calls, and suddenly we had tons of theater actors along with an orchestra and the services of a fully-staffed recording studio, all willing to donate their time and talent......
Our community of artists has banded together as we always to to show we can end this cycle of violence and intolerance. Love will prevail," Rudetsky said.

You can go to or iTunes to download Broadway for Orlando's "What the World Needs Now Is Love," for $1.99.

Even more importantly, when you see hate or hear hate speeech against the LGBT community or anyway, counteract it. Do something loving. Tell the haters why they're wrong. You might not change their minds, but you'll  put them on notice.

Here's the spectacular video of Broadway for Orlando's "What the World Needs Now Is Love"

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