Around the same time, Alyssa Ford of Berlin, NJ, learned that her own uncle had spent ages 12 to 15 hiding his sexuality from his family for fear of losing them. When her mother and grandmother encouraged Alyssa, then 15, to imagine the paralyzing fear that gripped her uncle for those years before he came out, she and her cousin, Tiffany, 13, stormed up to her room and in just a few hours wrote “Believe.”
“I started playing guitar about two years ago, and a few months after that I started writing my own songs,” said Ford.
“Believe” rallies against the hate-motivated bullying and suicides that have occupied American headlines in the past 18 months. Funneling her fury into her creative outlet, Alyssa felt writing the song only whetted her appetite for activism in the LGBT community. With her trusty guitar and web cam, Alyssa posted her thought- provoking ballad on You Tube.
“I love music,” said Ford. “I love listening to music, I love writing it, and I love playing and singing it, and I will be playing and singing for the rest of my life, even if I don’t have an audience.”
But Alyssa already has an audience; her video was spotlighted on Ocean Up, a website dedicated to youth trends, giving it an impressive 5,000 views. This song has also touched the hearts New Jersey and Baltimore Pride coordinators.
“I don’t care about making money off it or getting famous, I just want people to hear it,” she said. “I want the LGBT community to know that someone out there cares about them, that they are absolutely beautiful and perfect just the way they are.”
The fear Alyssa’s uncle endured is one of the smaller impacts bullying has had on the LGBT community. Nine out of ten gay teens have been victims of bullying, according to the National Youth Association. Alyssa is one of many in the younger generation fighting for the LGBT community, and we look forward to her excelling in both her music and activism careers.
DETAILS: “Believe” Performance by Alyssa Ford, Baltimore Pride Parade, 3:45pm, Saturday, June 18. Main stage, N. Charles & W. Eager St. BaltimorePride.org.