This Pride Month, Atwood Magazine has invited artists to participate in a series of short essays in observance and celebration of the month’s significance. Today’s submission comes from San Diego-based singer/songwriter Courtney Govan.
This Pride, I’m really focusing on taking a look within and truly finding peace with myself and who I am!
Pride for me is the ultimate celebration for who you are and who you love.
It’s a beautiful time of community and celebration but also remembrance of all the hardships our community has faced for years and years. At its core, We honor those who came before us and had to fight every single day for basic freedoms. 🤍
For most of my life I have found it easier to love those around me harder than I love myself. This Pride, I’m really focusing on taking a look within and truly finding peace with myself and who I am!
Growing up I felt like I was undeserving of love. Living in a larger body and being raised Catholic, it felt like society around me needed me to change in order to be loved and lead a happy life. When I was in college I struggled with the idea of even being bisexual. To echo the words of people around me “how could I know what I like or who I’m attracted to if I’ve never experienced that kind of love before.” While I was Grappling with this idea I also had so much support around me encouraging me to take some time with myself and realize that I am the only one who can truly understand my sexuality to the fullest. A couple margs and a seeming perfectly timed cheesy national coming out day resulted in a couple text messages, a FaceTime and a Facebook post and I put the rest behind me.
The most important thing I’ve ever done for myself was given myself the space to accept who I was before I was hoping other people would. I consistently reminded myself to be gentle with my thoughts and feelings but more importantly to have PRIDE for who I am. A lot of my music also reflects this idea of battling to put myself first but in the end realizing that it’s a necessity.
My newest single “out of the blue” is a perfect testament to that. I wrote it when I was in a pretty weird place along side my friends Jules Brave Zach Sorgen & Tony and Moonier Ghantous, and it truly did save me in a way. “After all this time, I came out of the blue” hits so different when you think of it in terms of sexuality. I was listening to it the other day and it completely hit me that the “blue” could be a huge representation of those who feel like they can’t come out or they feel like they’re not in a safe enough environment to live their true authentic lives.
When we originally wrote it, that wasn’t something I was thinking about. I was more so thinking about forms of depression and mental health but it hit me a couple days ago like, “Wow, I wish I had this song like this when I was figuring shit out.” It makes me really happy to think that my music could help someone get through a dark time in their life or a time of confusion and questioning.
It makes me really happy to think that my music could help someone get through a dark time in their life or a time of confusion and questioning.
It took me a really long time to understand the concept of truly loving myself, and I still work every single day to give myself the respect that I deserve.
I know it really is easier said than done but working towards self acceptance is probably the most important journey I’ve ever been on. I truly believe that a change in our world starts with how we treat ourselves. We are the most important people in our lives and this pride, it’s about damn time we celebrate it! – Courtney Govan
Stream: “out of the blue” – Courtney Govan
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📸 © Courtney Govan
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