Seven years have passed since the release of her first solo CD, Comin’ Alive, and in that time, outspoken queer musician Kate Reid has been charming and challenging audiences with songs that run the rainbow gamut.
Since her debut, Reid has garnered such a hugely supportive fan base that her listeners have pledged seed money to fund her subsequent releases.
When she came up with the idea of creating an album for both queer youth and youth of queer parents, friends and fans pitched in.
Reid says her new CD, Queer Across Canada, was inspired by subjects close to home, specifically her partner’s two kids.
“I wanted to write an album that speaks to their stories and the stories of kids growing up with queer parents.”
Reid interviewed more than 70 children of queer parents, ranging in age from four to 39, then turned their stories into songs.
From its initial form as a CD, the scope of the project kept expanding, the singer and former schoolteacher says. “It was just initially a plan to make an album, and then I got this idea: ‘Oh, these songs can be used as tools; I should make a teaching resource out of it!'”
True to her word, Reid takes a moment out of her six-week tour of Ontario high schools – where she’s been singing songs from her new CD such as “Boys Who Wear Dresses,” “Radical Donor Dad” and a cover of “We Are Family” – to do this interview.
The natural levity in her voice grows more solemn as she discusses the tour, the project and its effect on her life.
“I’ve been doing a lot of crying on this tour, lots of outpouring of emotion,” she says. “The feedback I’ve gotten from high school kids and teachers has been so incredible, and I just want to continue on with that.
“This is the most important work that I’ve been doing, because there is such a need, and because kids want to hear stories from people that are different. They want to have their minds expanded; they want to be accepting,” she says. “It feels really important and really huge.”