Tom Goss was inspired to pen his latest single “Pride” after the the ripple effect he saw after the death of a friend who was a cornerstone of the gay community in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Goss and his husband embarked on a cross-country road trip through Covid pandemic America last summer, staying in rural areas, eating sandwiches in their car, and keeping to themselves, for the most part.
The one exception was a stop off in Reading to visit their friend Ben who’d recently lost his partner Rich. Goss says, “Rich and Ben were cornerstones of Reading’s small yet vibrant LGBT community, working hard to make it a loving, welcoming, and tight-knit city for all. Upon Rich’s death, the city hosted a memorial service in front of City Hall in his honor. We had a picnic lunch, talked, cried and visited the cemetery. I got to know more about how they fell in love and was deeply moved.”
Their story sparked Goss to think about all of the other people who have fought tirelessly to make being gay, not only okay, but something to be celebrated in places where they are largely invisible. People like Rich and Ben, living and loving quietly yet simultaneously heroically, in small cities and towns across the country.
Their stories he realized, may be more important than the ones we know.
The experience inspired Goss to write a Facebook post calling for LGBT couples to share their love stories. He was inundated by the most beautiful and moving testimonials from all over the world. One told of Jim and Jim who met in Cheyenne, Wyoming, raised a family, and worked tirelessly to protect the rights of LGBT students. Tom thought it a beautiful counterpoint to Rich and Ben’s story and combined both in his song. “If it were possible, ‘Pride’ would have been countless verses long, detailing the story of hundreds of thousands of loving LGBT people who have helped to create what we call pride today.”
“I hope ‘Pride’ and it’s music video encourage people in the community to stop and reflect on how we got to where we are today. We owe so much to our forefathers and mothers. We cannot begin to imagine the hardships they endured, and that’s by design. They wouldn’t allow it. They wanted a better world for us, so they created it for us.”
“It’s important that we respect and pay homage to those that fought for us and continue the fight for the generations to follow,” Goss pauses, “That is Pride.”
Watch the moving video below.