By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com December 07 2010 3:45 PM ET
Singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado has responded to the recent rash of gay teen suicides with a personal message for young men and women dealing with antigay bullying.
“Nothing makes me more brokenhearted than seeing people who feel they can’t be themselves,” says Furtado in an interview with Brandon Voss for South Florida’s She magazine. “It’s such a crime. God, it’s so hard and horrible to be a teenager, and the virtual way young people communicate nowadays makes them feel even more disconnected. My advice is to reach out and find somebody you can relate to, because human interaction can heal those wounds. Growing up in a small town, I felt like an alien with dreams, goals, and no idea how to make it all happen, but finding a kinship with other musicians got me through it. It’s important to know that you’re not alone.”
The Grammy winner also explains how she instills values of unbiased love and acceptance in her 7-year-old daughter, Nevis. “You have to start from day one and be vigilant,” she says. “You have to shield your child from negativity and correct when people say things that are incorrect. You have to normalize the reality of the world, because we all come from the same place, and we’re all in this together. I’m proud to live in Canada, a country that supports gay marriage, because I can speak openly about it to my child. ... Children shouldn’t be raised in a bubble. There’s nothing wrong with it, so why wouldn’t I treat it as normal?”
Furtado reveals that her latest single, “Night Is Young,” was inspired her gay best friend, a modern dancer and choreographer. She also admits that Nevis has turned her on to another Canadian pop star: “She does like a few Justin Bieber songs, because, you know, he actually makes pretty good music. ... I have found myself swooning over a few of his songs — when no one’s looking!”
Read the full interview here.