Country star Michael Waugh releases emotional gay anthem


Michael Waugh has released a powerful new song and video to bring queer life to the country music industry. 

The song We Are Here was officially launched on the weekend and covers LGBTQIA+ figures and events throughout history.

Those mentioned include Allen Ginsberg, Alan Turing and Harvey Milk. 

“I want to celebrate those gay men through history – many of whom risked their lives – so that I can stand here today, wearing my rainbow elastic-panelled Blundstone boots, and speak my truth,” he says.

Michael also sings about the Stonewall riots, Sydney Mardi Gras and the Grim Reaper AIDS advert of the 1980s.

In the song and video, Michael also sings about his own experiences including being beaten in the change rooms while growing up in country Victoria.

He shared on Instagram that this experience was the motivation to write We Are Here

“It took me a long time to not feel the shame that they tried to beat into me. I wrote We Are Here as a message of hope back in time to the little kid that I was,” he explains.

The song is also a message of hope for those still struggling with who they are. 

“I know that there are people still living in persecution and in fear, I send out love to them, and I want them to know that we are here, we are waiting and you are loved.”

Michael Waugh’s coming out

Michael officially came out in 2022 when he appeared at the Golden Guitar Awards with his partner TJ.

The two were due to appear together in person, however, COVID meant it had to be done virtually.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Michael Waugh (@michaelwaugh71)

“I just thought that it would be powerful to hold his hand and walk that carpet. I think that there are still parts of our community, especially in rural areas, where some perhaps don’t feel as safe to be out – that was certainly my experience,” he says.

Although they could not appear on the carpet, they still dressed up for the occasion and had their own personal photo shoot.

At the awards, he won Heritage Song of the Year for Dirty River, his love letter to Melbourne.

His previous four albums and recent single were produced with Australian country music legend and producer, Shane Nicholson.

Michael had previously alluded to his personal experiences in other songs Paul, The Asphalt and the Oval and Mary Lou. In Mary Lou he sings of being shamed as a four-year-old boy dancing to Humphrey B. Bear and ABBA records. 

“I think that a lot of those records are about making peace with growing up gay in a small country town. I experienced a lot of homophobia – and I think I internalised a lot of fear and self-hate. At the same time, I am so thankful for growing up in the country,” he says.

Michael will be sharing his music and personal experiences during his current tour around Australia. 

For the latest LGBTIQA+ Sister Girl and Brother Boy news, entertainment, and community stories in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Dale Roberts

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

1 Comment

  1. Michael Reid
    18 September 2023
    Reply

    Thanks for including other out gay musicians, besides pop musicians. I have such an issue with this genre really being all that is ever reviewed or acknowledged in otherwise fine publications like DNA. I am a singer-songwriter pop music fan make no mistake! Like all genres of music, when it is brought to you by gifted & committed artists it will always be quality music, and therefore the style is irrelevant. I discovered Michael about a year of two ago & have downloaded one older album, then bought “The Cast” from a local JB HI FI store when it had recently become available. Love it! Nice to have new music to mellow out with on a Sunday morning, or whenever the mood is right. “The Asphalt & The Oval” (with a great title like that) happens to be the very one I downloaded (amongst the 1ST) to my iPhone (would much prefer a physical copy). I will have to listen again for the Humphrey B. Bear & ABBA references. For my 5TH birthday in February 1977 I received 2 LPs the one on top was of the “….Funny ole Fellow….” (kinda posed as an olympic hurdle runner, without any hurdles as I recall). But the 2ND was of 4 stern (because they had the harsh sun in their faces) people sitting in a helicopter on an album cover called “Arrival” from ABBA. A foursome I would never go into anyone’s closet over, in deep dark mid to late 80’s. By sincerely prepared to assert my unwavering adoration ensured I would endure enough crap through my own school years. I’ll be checking out this new tune & video very soon now. One hopes is introducing a whole new album not far behind.

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