Musicians Band Together for ROSMY
Read More: $3 Bills, Amy Henderson, Andy Moore, Babes, Dan Shmuk, Endymion, fundraiser, Julie Clark, Musicians for ROSMY, Radcliffe Burt, Richmond, Richmond Organization for Sexual Minority Youth, ROSMY, Shenanigans, Three Dollar Bills
Amy Henderson strums her guitar and hums a tune into her harmonica onstage at Shenanigans on MacArthur Avenue. It’s open-mic night and Wednesday regular Erin Eels loves Henderson’s socks.
“Oh, Amy always performs without shoes on.” Eel’s partner Erin Collin’s says.
Henderson is one of the six artists and groups performing at Friday’s Musicians for ROSMY benefit concert at Babes of Carytown. She says organizations like ROSMY give GLBTQ youth a safe place to talk about their sexuality. Henderson grew up in Georgia and said there was nothing like ROSMY in place.
“It just wasn’t an option,” she said. “Having that there, would have made a huge difference. Just to know it’s okay.”
The indie folk singer didn’t come out until she was 28 and already married to a man. She said having a support group would have helped sort things out. She jokes that it probably would have saved her time and money.
”When your dad says, ‘I’m glad you got married. I thought you were gay.’ You know something’s up,” she says. “Half of my bridesmaids were gay – there were red flags everywhere, but that’s what you get when you just don’t know.”
Performing at Friday’s Event:
Amy Henderson (Pictured Above): Self-described indie folk guitarist.
Radcliffe Burt: Played the guitar for 25 years and does a mean version of “Rocket Man” that will make you cry.
Dan Schmuk: Originally from Germany,
Andy Moore: Acoustic rock with a KT Tunstall
Julie Clark: Award-winning acoustic folk singer.
Endymion: Equal parts gay and straight. Like an iPod on shuffle. Has a violinist.
Collins, who is helping plan the event sponsored by the $3 Bills, is a board member of ROSMY. She remembers the coming out process.
“Having the community and resources available [of ROSMY], that pain will be lessoned and that process will be easier,” she says. “In the adult community, we need to remember how hard that was and we should do everything we can not to let kids go through those things.”
“It’s paving the way,” Eels adds.
Collins believes it is the community’s responsibility to fight for the rights of youth as much as we are fighting for the rights of marriage and equal rights.
Sitting at the table as Henderson plays another song in her set, the two Erins talk about what has changed and what still needs to. They want kids to be able to take who they want to the prom or to be able to do something as simple as feel comfortable talking to a school guidance counselor.
“Yes, we need to focus on our civil rights, but they are minors,” Collins says. “They don’t have any voting power. It’s going to take the rest of us to ensure that they are protected.”
Collins borrows Henderson’s guitar and starts her set. Now, she’s singing Howie Day’s “Collide.”
Collins and Eels’ band, Endymion, will perform Friday night.
“It’s great that we have five other amazing performers donating their time and talent to this purpose – regardless of their sexuality,” Collins says.
While Collins performs, Henderson takes a short break to mingle with friends. Radcliffe Burt scoots up to the table. According to Collins, he does a mean version of Rocket Man that will make you cry. Burt’s been playing guitar for 25 years and got involved once he heard about the cause.
“There’s an issue with suicide rates among young people and that sucks,” Burt says. “If there’s anything I can do, then I want to help.”
Collins returns to the table. She’s excited about the caliber of musicians they have rounded up and asks a couple of straight friends at the table if they’ll be at the event.
One friend asks, “Is this concert a one time offer?”
”No,” Collins answers assured with a smile. “This is just the beginning.”
Musicians for ROSMY is Friday, April 24, 7 p.m. at Babes of Carytown, 3166 w. Cary St. $10 at the door. For more information on ROSMY, visit www.rosmy.org.
The journey that LGBTQ youths live is constantly changing.October 24, 2016
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