I met award-winning musician Tom Goss when he asked our family to appear in the music video for his song “Illuminate The Dark” – a song about the devastating effects of negatively judging people based on looks and before knowing anything about them. My sons fell in love with Goss instantly because he sings, plays guitar and can do flips on a trampoline. I fell in love with Goss because of his voice, his LGBTQ advocacy work and because he overflows with kindness.
When he allowed me a sneak peak of the music video for his new song “Breath & Sound,” its beauty, simplicity and powerful message held me captive. “Breath & Sound” illustrates through lyrical dance that the act of falling in love and the cadence of a relationship is the same for all couples, regardless of sexual orientation, gender or color.
I recently sat down with Goss to talk about “Breath & Sound” for HuffPost Gay Voices.
Me: With the Supreme Court’s June ruling in favor of marriage equality, the timing couldn’t be better for this video’s release, don’t you think?
Tom Goss: Yes! It’s amazing to see how this country has grown and evolved in terms of its acceptance of all kinds of love. We are experiencing a momentous time; but that’s not to say the work is done. We have to continue to have an open dialogue to live harmoniously; I hope that my music and videos like this one encourage that dialogue.
Me: What do you hope the LGBTQ community will feel when they watch this video?
Tom: I want them to feel like I’m telling their story. I want them to be moved. That’s why I’m doing this. There isn’t enough LGBTQ content being produced. Historically, people have been afraid to tell these stories – but I’m not. I will always use my voice to help tell the stories of those who cannot.
Me: What do you hope people outside of the LGBTQ community feel when they watch it?
Tom: I want them to understand the boundlessness of love. There’s a reason the first verse focuses on the straight couple alone — that’s what they are used to seeing. I want straight people to be drawn into a familiar story, one they understand and relate to. Once there, I want to show them that this exact same story is being lived by the LGBTQ community. As a gay man, I don’t want special privilege. I just want to love – passionately, fearlessly and completely.
Me: How did you come up with the initial concept for this video?
Tom: I’ve been dreaming about this video for years. As soon as we recorded the song I knew I wanted to shoot a lyrical dance because I’m fascinated by movement and even more so by collaborative projects. About six months ago I was explaining my vision to director Michael Serrato (Big Gay Sketch Show; Willam Belli and Violet Chachki music videos; and Neil’s Puppet Dreams). I told him about my big, complex, beautiful — but ultimately flawed idea — and he started getting as excited as I was and sharing ideas of his own. His ideas solved the problems I was having in the story and it became clear that it was something that we could accomplish together.
Me: The dance is such a beautiful metaphor for the flow of a relationship…
Tom: If you think about it, all relationships are really a kind of dance. We want to be close to somebody, but we’re afraid to let them too close. We come together, we push each other away. We chose the movements to highlight that experience. This feeling isn’t confined to one specific kind of relationship; it doesn’t understand gender or sexual orientation. The dance of attraction and love is a universal one. The dance is the same regardless of the dancers.
Me: At first watch, the video looks simple and effortless, but then I got to thinking about the choreography, editing and about how sometimes making something seem simple is very hard work. What was the hardest part about making the video?
Tom: The hardest part wasn’t on my shoulders, but on the dancers’. It was inspiring to see how connected they became to each other throughout shooting. Everyone involved believed in the concept, the song and its potential to spur something beautiful. They committed to me, Michael and each other — helping build something greater than the sum of its parts.
Me: What other great projects are you working on?
Tom: I’m in pre-production on a video addressing LGBTQ youth and suicide prevention. I’m extremely excited about the team we are building for this project. I believe it has the potential to reach a lot of people. More than anything, I want to help make the world a better place. I think this video will do just that.