Rascal Flatts’ Anthem for Same-Sex Loving


Country music isn’t just full of homophobes crooning to their trucks! And the list of exceptions isn’t only narrowed down to trans-loving Dolly Parton! Rascal Flatts, which sometimes straddles the line between country and pop, is out with a new track called “Love Who You Love,” and if you want to think it’s an ode to gay marriage, then have at it. Indeed, they’re fine with you thinking that way.

“We actually have some gay people that work with us, and we have a lot of friends that are gay, too, and I know that this song has inspired them,” says singer Gary LeVox to CMT. “I know that coming out was tough on their parents and on them and the whole entire family. For a long time, some of them didn’t get to hear ‘I love you’ from their dads or be accepted in that way. … It’s helped a lot of our friends.”

Adds guitarist Joe Don Rooney: “That’s what’s cool about our music. You can interpret (it like) that. If you get that — it’s perfect. If you are someone who’s gay or someone who’s straight, you still feel something from the song, and that’s what we want.”

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  • James

    It’s a nice song, I liked it when i just heard it on youtube. However, I can feel the backlash for this band coming a mile away. Country radio still doesn’t tolerate the liberal side of life. Other than Tim McGraw/Faith Hill and The Dixie Chicks, I can’t remember another country singer that has come out on the Democrat side of things. You mostly see them performing at Republican National Conventions and the like unfortunately. It’s a free country to support who you like, but as a country music fan it’s disappointing that most country music stars wouldn’t be so open to putting out this single AND welcoming the gay friendly take on it.

  • kevin (not that one)

    @James: “I can’t remember another country singer that has come out on the Democrat side of things.”

    Dude…what about Willie Nelson!?

    And speaking of, Willie recording “He Was a Friend of Mine” for the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack and it was one of the most beautiful songs from the album.

  • James2

    I’m reminded of a song by Pirates of the Mississippi a few years back called “Feed Jake,” sample lyrics as follows: “If you get an ear pierced, some will call you gay / But if you drive a pickup, they’ll say ‘No, he must be straight.’ / What we are an what we ain’t / What we can and what we can’t / Does it really matter?”

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @kevin (not that one): Don’t forget he followed that up with a cover of “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other.”

  • blake

    @kevin (not that one):

    What about the Dixie Chicks, who endured death threats because they spoke out against George W. Bush? There’s also Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, who are Democrats.

  • Mike

    Country music certainly has its share of homophobes, but there are plenty of allies there, too. Dolly Parton–I’m surprised she hasn’t been mentioned yet–stays out of politics for the most part but has always acknowledged her gay fans. Garth Brooks performed at Equality Rocks. Kathy Mattea has done a lot of work with the NAMES Project. Even Reba McEntire, who was a vocal Bush supporter, doesn’t shy away from her gay fans.

  • James

    I agree that Willie and Wynonna have supported the cause, but in all due respect, they haven’t had a big hit on the country radio in a loooooooooooong time. I should have been clearer that other than RF and Tim/Faith (along with apparently Garth, Kathy, and sort of Reba) there are still too few current country music stars that are loudly supportive to gay/liberal causes and RF declaring this song could be used as a gay anthem is still a rare thing.

    Take Martina McBride’s recent quotes where she says that it’d be nice to have an out country music star (here comes the Kenny Chesney rumors), but that country radio probably isn’t ready for one. Look at how country music dropped the Dixie Chicks fast after the anti-war comments. Country radio still promotes the red state mentality of patriotism and steers clear of overt liberal political beliefs (and the stars that subscribe to them), so I doubt that this song will be a big hit on country radio. They can tolerate a liberal singer just enough to play their music, but say something too liberal in the press, and they’ll drop you like they did the Dixie Chicks.

    It’d be nice to hear Reba, Trisha Yearwood, and even someone like Alan Jackson or Vince Gill say something more than, “Oh I love my gay fans” and say, “You know what, they should get married if they want” and not lose radio airplay like the Dixie Chicks did when they expressed anti-war views.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @James: If they did that, they would get Dixie Chicked. It’s really that simple. You are right about country.

  • Mike

    Well, for those of you unfortunate enough to be viewers of American Idol, the reaction Randy Travis had when meeting the uber gay contestant Adam Lambert — along with the someone-just-crapped-on-the-floor reaction Travis’ wife had after he performed — did speak volumes of the distance they need to travel.

    Still, remember that it was none other than David Allen Coe who penned a song: “F*ck Anita Bryant.”

  • YeaYea

    But….but Country is as homophobic (if not worse!) than hip hop! :(

    Nevermind me this reminded me of the ridiculous discussion we had awhile ago.

  • sal

    yay!!!!sound good too!love it!gosh i need to leave my country!!!!the world is changing but here it aint

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