I’m not one of those people.

I’m not.

I actually have been known to gently mock and chide those people. You know, the people who seem to overreact when a celebrity dies. Like it was their mother or their best friend.

Then Prince died. And wow, was that a fucking punch straight to my heart.

As my friend Lee said…gutted.

Yes. Completely fucking gutted over the death of a musician I’ve never met. I heard Purple Rain on the way home from work last night and all of a sudden I realized my cheeks were wet.


Except that I am.

I didn’t know Prince, but he was such a strong part of my childhood, of my teen years, my young adult years… of my personality.

He made me think about the way we as humans treat each other. He made me step outside of my small mind, my small white-washed, almost puritan upbringing and think. He helped me to understand that sexuality could be fluid, that things weren’t just black and white. He taught me that love is love, he was the first to make me realize that labels and boxes were for other people.

That sounds dramatic, I know. But it’s true. I was a naïve and awkward kid. I was well-liked, but awkward because I knew on the inside I was different. I didn’t act different because you didn’t want to stand out in high school. But I knew my thoughts were not the “norm” in my area. I knew being different would hurt me socially, so I flew under the radar except to a few
very close friends.

Prince’s music brought me out of my shell. It inspired me to write. Poetry, lyrics, fiction. And as I got older, he inspired me to try to understand sexuality. He helped me to realize that sex wasn’t shameful. It was okay to express yourself, your desires. That it was more than okay for consenting adults, no matter their race, religion, gender, or sexual identity to love each other.

prince_purplerain1My words are failing me now. I just know that there were many a lonely night that I sat in my room and listened to my numerous Prince LPs over and over. Prince, Dirty Mind, Controversy, 1999, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Parade, Sign o’ the Times, Lovesexy…

For me, yesterday was the day the music died.

Yep. I AM one of those people.

RIP Prince. Thank you for everything.