Openly gay American Idol David Hernandez released the music video for his new single, “ILY.” Friday morning.
The music video stars Benji Schwimmer from So You Think You Can Dance, a former Mormon who is also openly gay, as David’s embattled love interest, and trans actress Alexa Abraxas as the therapist who is helping them to work through the issues in their relationship.
It was important to Hernandez that the video help normalize the LGBT experience, and instill in everyone that love is love, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
“Growing up, I was only taught the dynamic and gender roles between a man and a woman,” Hernandez reflects. “There was never any rule or guide book on how two men can coexist in a romantic relationship. Navigating it on my own has been challenging, especially when many people in the world still continue to view same sex relationships as not normal.”
The “ILY.” video, shot by Arno Diem, depicts two people in a relationship that are struggling with each other’s shortcomings and insecurities. They visit a therapist, played by trans actress Abraxas, and discover that through the heartache, they share a common thread of love for one another and that for many, it’s the obstacles we overcome that make a relationship stronger.
The initial pre-chorus was written as I wouldn’t be the man I am if it weren’t for you. David changed the line to I wouldn’t be who I am, if it weren’t for you. “I want everyone to be able to identify with the song’s message,” he explains. “We are lacking inclusion in music and it needs to be recognized because inclusion inspires understanding and humanizes our experiences.”
Watch it below.