Anyone who knows me knows that I am a HUGE Melissa Etheridge fan. Since the first time I saw her on the big screen TV in the bar of the Jolly Roger restaurant, I was hooked. I was a 19 year old gay girl who didn't really feel like I fit in anywhere, and as she wailed about burning alive and needing some water, I felt an instant connection. Since the Jolly Roger Restaurant was located inside the local mall, I immediately got up and walked to the nearest music store to purchase her first CD. I took it home and listened to it over and over. It was amazing...here was someone who's music described EXACTLY how I felt and who I was. It was as if she KNEW me...the real me - deep down inside. For awhile it was like I had my very own passionate scribe...jotting down the intimate details of my life, feelings and all, and setting them to this amazing hard edged, rocking music...it was true love.
I have remained a fan throughout the years, amassing every CD I could get my hands on, and seeing her in concert no less than 9 times over the course of our 20 year one-sided relationship. Through her music, I've been able to watch from afar as she has come out publicly, become involved with a director (sweeping her off her feet and right out of the arms of Lou Diamond Phillips, no less), co-parent two children, suffer a painful break up with the director after many years, after time become involved with a much younger actress, become an advocate for marriage equality, get cancer, beat cancer, and co-parent two more children with said actress. I have been proud to call her my favorite artist and proud that she has unabashedly stood up and used her voice to push for equality.
Now, after nine years she is leaving the actress and I have to admit, my faith in Melissa is...well, shaken. Small peeks into the mind of the actress have shown me that Melissa may not be the woman I have always thought her to be. Consider this: for the last few months the actress - Tammy - who maintains a public blog (here's a link to her most recent post: http://hollywoodfarmgirl.blogspot.com/2010/05/no-more-censorship-for-me.html) she uses to write cute little anecdotes about her children, create sometimes good, sometimes not so good poetry, and pen the occasional post with references to her rock- star-wife-who-shall-remain-nameless, has begun writing posts that truly appear to be from her heart. Granted they are somewhat vague, filled with innuendo and angst and often make her appear somewhat bi-polar, but nonetheless, they appear genuine. She is a woman who has been smacked in the face with the reality that her wife is no longer in love with her, and has sought life elsewhere. As someone who has been through the earth shattering pain of a non-mutual break up, my heart hurts for her. It is difficult to observe that kind of pain and not feel a little heartsick.
In public statements and interviews, Melissa has claimed 'it's a mutual thing,' 'Tammy is a wonderful woman and mother', blah, blah, on and on. On her blog, Tammy indicates that there is nothing mutual about it, and I'm not sure which I think is worse...leaving your wife and children for someone else, or lying about it. I'm not so sure I want an advocate for marriage who isn't willing to make her marriage work, has chosen to cheat on her wife, and then lies to the public about it. It sounds too much like the people who's opinion I completely discount - the vocal anti-equality advocates who think they have a right to decide if I am worthy of marriage. It's not the multiple marriages and indiscretions that are public and on display for all to see that bothers me so much as the fact that THEY are the ones who yell the loudest about 'protecting the sanctity of marriage' and base their opinions on their so-called 'family values' that truly enrages me. I think people should walk their talk and right now, Melissa, YOU are not walking your talk...
Sorry Melissa...your star has become a bit - tarnished.