Saved By The Music
Photo by Howard Zucker
Ray Boltz’s interview before his last Richmond visit was GAYRVA.COM’s most read article in 2011. The post continues to create striking dialogue between conservative Christians hoping to “save” the now openly gay singer-songwriter and a fairly newfound fan base.
He performs Wednesday night at MCC Richmond.
And as an “out” Christian artist, Boltz has heard it all including accusations saying he hasn’t tried hard enough to change his ways.
Does he read those comments and e-mails? Not the hateful ones he says. ”So many of them say the same things.”
After thirty years years trying to wipe the slate clean of his gayness, he believes he’s given it a fair shot.
“I tried every single thing I could try. Bible, fasting, counseling…I don’t hate the people [making comments] – it didn’t work for me…
“My walking around confessing that I’m not gay – all this stuff is not real and I realized Faith was not going to do this — I became very depressed when I realized it wasn’t happening.”
Boltz came out publicly in a 2008 interview with the Washington Blade after 25 years of touring around the world under his belt.
“[When I came out], I knew there would be a response from the fundamentalist church or the people who had liked me in the past — I wasn’t surprised.”
Many Christian radio stations and stores no longer play or carry Boltz’s recordings — but now with iTunes, his music has found a new audience without the need to go through a distributor.
On a recent stop to Dallas, TX a fan told Boltz one of his songs saved his life when he was on the verge of committing suicide as a gay teen.
“I still hear those stories and they mean more to me than they ever have.”
And as for the old fans that are not yet onboard with living his life openly.
“It took me 30 years to deal with my own sexuality and that my orientation is not going to change,” he said. ”Some of my fans are just finding out. I can’t expect them to change their views in the matter of a moment. They don’t have to accept me, but I have the right to live an authentic life. ”
“Jesus was honest – the Bible didn’t cut out the problems or the struggles. They just told the truth. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Ray Boltz and Ruben Gonzales perform Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at Metropolitan Community Church of Richmond, 2501 Park Avenue. There is a prayer service before the show beginning at 6:30 p.m. Click here for more information.
Kevin Clay is the editor and publisher of GAYRVA.COM. He is a Richmond native, loves the city and knows it's on the edge of greatness. Don't hold back RVA. You can follow Kevin on GAYRVA's Twitter or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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