Coming out at Nashville Pride
Carlton’s allegiance to the LGBT community first blossomed when she was an aspiring dancer at just 13 years old, after moving to New York City and immersing herself in queer circles.
“I don’t look at the community as separate from my life,” she said. “I was never able to differentiate it because I was just always in it. My adolescence was in that community, so I never really looked at it as some kind of specialty community or ‘other.’”
Even though she describes herself as “private … but not weirdly private,” when Carlton played Nashville Pride – her first Pride festival – a couple of young women in the audience compelled the singer to come out publicly. Her reason for taking that leap was simple: She imagined them being shunned by their parents for being gay.
“I just wanted to connect with them,” she recalled.
Carlton continues to reach out to fans on social media, posting about her current tour in support of what’s arguably her best album to date, “Liberman,” but also the Trump administration’s constant barrage of bad decisions, including the recently court-overruled immigration ban.
Again, it’s personal: “I have family that live in the Middle East, and when I’m seeing stories of these families being divided and the children being detained for five hours in the airport because it’s something our president did – that is when I will highlight and communicate to strangers about how I feel.”
Because “every day or every week there’s a new threat to something,” Carlton hasn’t been as out as she thinks people should be right now, she realizes during our conversation.
“I haven’t highlighted that fact about myself,” she admitted, pointing to her lack of outness on her social media. “Every American that believes in rights for all, they should be out – and not just out supporting, but sharing, ‘This is who I am.’”
Shift from ‘A Thousand Miles’