One last ‘kiss’ for Prince

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

When you think of fam­ily, the blood­line of your par­ents or sib­lings may come to mind. As mem­bers of the LGBT com­mu­nity, we are of­ten forced to broaden that def­i­ni­tion to those who love and accept us for who we are. As a so­ci­ety we are ex­pand­ing the def­i­ni­tion of fam­ily to those who take care of you and who you take care of. I credit the sud­den death of Prince last week for in­spir­ing me to see fam­ily as those who are there for you through the ups and downs of your life, and based on that def­i­ni­tion, Prince was a mem­ber of my fam­ily.

I was 12 years old when the al­bum “1999” was re­leased, and I was very ex­cited to re­ceive my vinyl copy of the iconic work. My older sis­ter was vis­it­ing and in­stead of be­ing ex­cited at the new gem I had to show her, she was ap­palled. By what? The phal­lic “1” in the ti­tle on the cover. As a blos­som­ing les­bian just en­ter­ing into pu­berty, I had no idea or in­ter­est in what that was or meant. How­ever, my sis­ter was so pro­tec­tive of my vir­gin mind she im­me­di­ately took nail pol­ish from the bath­room and painted over the graphic sym­bol. I still have that al­bum, gold painted pe­nis and all.

I was 16 when I ex­pe­ri­enced my first sex­ual re­la­tion­ship, and the song I would sing to my love was Prince’s newly-re­leased sin­gle “Kiss.” So dis­tracted was I by that song and who it made me think of, I locked my keys in my car right in front of my high school one morn­ing. Singing it loud and proud as I pulled into Cen­tral High School, I parked the car and glee­fully got out and locked it up. What I failed to re­al­ize that in my ro­man­tic bliss I had not only left the keys in the car but the ra­dio blar­ing as well. Since this was be­fore cell phones I had to make the walk of shame into the school of­fice to call the cops to come help un­lock my car. I’m sure my class­mates got a kick out of watch­ing me through the class­room win­dow as I stood next to the of­fi­cer who jim­mied my door open, all while the ra­dio is still blast­ing. My door’s lock never worked right af­ter that.

When my girl­friend broke up with me the next school year, leav­ing me for a guy, Prince’s movie “Un­der the Cherry Moon” was re­leased. I re­mem­ber sit­ting out­side my friend Robin’s house, not quite ready to take my heart­break into her house to so­cial­ize, in­stead pin­ing in my car to the ti­tle track, “I Won­der U,” and “Some­times It Snows in April.” How could she do that to me? Prince was there to help ease that pain.

That’s just the be­gin­ning of a life­time of mem­o­ries trig­gered by Prince lyrics and melodies. I’m sure much of your life’s sound­track was pro­vided by Prince as well, and that is why so many on­line pro­files were changed to pur­ple rain in the last week. You just al­ways as­sume that a fam­ily mem­ber, who has been part of your world for your en­tire life will al­ways be there. I never re­al­ized how prophetic Prince was when he sang:

Some­times it snows in April, Some­times I feel so bad

Some­times I wish life was never end­ing, And all good things, they say, never last


Melissa Carter is one of the Morn­ing Show hosts on B98.5. In ad­di­tion, she is a writer for the Huff­in­g­ton Post. She is rec­og­nized as one of the first out ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties in At­lanta and one of the few in the coun­try. Fol­low her on Twit­ter@Melis­saCarter

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