A straight grandmother ally has written an incredible LGBTI history song for Founder’s Week.
This week is all about paying tribute to the people who paved the way – and this ally is one of them.
Sherri Gray is a 78-year-old singer-songwriter and licensed therapist from Nashville, Tennessee.
We asked her to compose an official song for Founder’s Week – and it’ll give you all the feels.
Grandmother composes LGBTI history song
The chorus goes: ‘You’ve created a “family of choice” that’s worldwide
‘So we honor our Founders with passion and pride.
‘Yes, you are our Founders, and we’re in your debt.
‘Your strength and your courage we’ll never forget.’
Sherri has always considered herself an ally to the LGBTI community.
Brought up in a difficult childhood home, she found freedom in the arts. She described this as her own ‘family of choice’.
Always an ally
She still remembers the first gay person she encountered, a man named Terry, in pre-school in the late 50s.
‘I always loved him. He could tap dance. He was just a fun guy. Back then, people would think he would be light in the loafers,’ she remembers.
‘Most of us, back in the 50s, we liked him. He’s the only one I really can remember knowing.
‘In college, I’ve always been accepting. It’s never seemed different to me. I didn’t think it was weird.
‘I’ve always known I’m a straight hetero cisgender woman. I know I can’t change and I know LGBTQ people can’t change either.’
A licensed psychotherapist and talented singer-songwriter, she now preaches equality and inclusion.
‘The world needs to wake up and realise that gender identity and orientation is nothing compared to the environment or blowing each other up or all the violence,’ she says.
‘Get over it! We can work together.’
Grandmother: ‘I don’t think a higher power would say, “I hate gay people”‘
Sherri has encountered many homophobes in her lifetime.
‘The LGBT community has much to teach the rest of us about acceptance,’ she said.
‘I believe in a power somewhere but I don’t think that higher power would say I hate gay people.’
Sherri said she was ‘honored’ to write a Founder’s Week song.
‘I’ve always been grateful to founders. How could you write a song? I thought it’s such a huge topic,’ she said.
‘I wanted to make it about everybody who was marginalized because of the way he, they or she approached their identity, expression or orientation.’
‘I’m so blessed’
‘I really am very active now,’ she says.
‘I love being the community of PFLAG, I go to TVALS – a transgender support group – and volunteer at Pride.
I’ve sung my songs at the Transgender Day of Remembrance.’
One time, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence – a group of drag queen nuns – made her a ‘saint’ at Nashville Pride.
‘I’ve been so blessed, and it’s thanks to LGBTQ folks,’ she said.