WATCH Lesbian Musician Maia Sharp Tackles Silent Theater
BY Daniel Reynolds
August 28 2012 3:00 AM ET
Sharp, now a sustaining donor at the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, feels fortunate about her own positive coming out experience. But she acknowledges, sometimes through her music, the anxieties she wrestled with as a closeted teenager. Her song, “Standing Out in a Crowd,” previously recorded by Trisha Yearwood, directly addresses the insecurities associated with feeling different:
“But in my world, different meant lonely. / The last place I wanted to be / was standing out in a crowd / where the spotlight finds you and singles you out.”
“I wanted to give the song a darker slant,” says Sharp, who praised Yearwood's version, but sought to find a means of making the song her own again. “I wanted to capture how it felt when you’re on the outside looking in. There’s a period in everyone’s life where they feel like they don’t fit, like they don’t belong. I felt that way when I was younger. I had friends, but I always felt like I had a different thing going on. I didn’t know there were others like me until high school. Even living in Los Angeles… being a little girl attracted to other little girls is not embraced in any of the movies.”
Perhaps it’s appropriate then, that the album, Change the Ending, has more than a few nods to Hollywood—the cover art is a mock movie poster, with Sharp featured as its star. The message is clear: she has embraced her place in the spotlight. And while the actors in her video may be silent, Maia has certainly found her own voice through music. “I figured it out. I’m not even sure what age I was when I did figure it out. I’m really okay. And not just okay. I love my life. I love that I’m different. I don’t want to be like everyone else.”
Maia Sharp's album, Change the Ending, is available today, and she's touring nationwide this fall. For tour dates, visit MaiaSharp.com.