Music. It’s always had such an important part in my life. It’s gotten me through some really sticky moments, it’s comforted and it’s hurt. It also, as you, my dear readers know, has inspired so many different stories and ideas for me. And it has pulled me in and shared it’s haunting melodies and given me glimpses into others’ pain.

Starting on Saturday is the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. I’ll be doing a separate post on Saturday specific to it, but long before I was an active member of the GLBTQ community (that is, before I recognized my bisexuality), I was quite aware of homophobia (more, I admit, than transphobia). There was a lesbian couple down the street from where I grew up and I vaguely remember my mother talking about them. I honestly can’t remember what she said, but I do remember that they were in the closet and fought to keep it that way. As small as the town I grew up in is, I doubt they’ve ever truly come out there. I don’t know, though, as I lost contact many years ago.

So, I was aware, definitely, and that grew as the years passed. Though I can say that I wasn’t as directly involved in it and one of the things that began to clue me in was a movie that I am sure everyone in the GLBTQ community is familiar with: Philadelphia with Tom Hanks.

In No Sacrifice, Chance is a singer at Sophia’s Desert Palace on Wednesday nights. He takes Patrick along to see him perform one night, which happens to be a very special night for him. I won’t spoil the whole thing, but that night, he sings two songs, both of which affect Patrick quite a bit. The first:

Spoilers for No Sacrifice ahead:

Chance stepped back and adjusted his guitar strap. Chance opened by tapping on the body of the guitar, and within a few taps, Patrick thought he recognized the song. Instead of Bruce Springsteen, Chance’s voice began a haunting melody about a man who couldn’t recognize himself in the window’s reflection on the streets of Philadelphia.

Patrick glanced around, his gaze landing on Sophia, who seemed to be holding herself together carefully as she watched Chance. Patrick would never forget the movie the song was from. He’d been flipping through channels on a Sunday afternoon and caught Tom Hanks. Since Tom was one of his favorite actors and he hadn’t readily recognized the role, he’d stopped.

He hadn’t moved for the entire two hours.

His exposure to the gay world had been fairly limited. His town, though one of the largest on O’ahu, was still relatively small. His school had been made up of either straight people or, if there were any gay or lesbian students, they’d been very closeted. There’d been no Pride Festivals or parades in Kane’ohe, and whatever had been down in Honolulu, he hadn’t known of. It just wasn’t something he’d heard about.

He knew enough, even then, of the movie industry and theater to know the events were exaggerated. But the movie had left an impression on him that he’d never forget. The song that came out of it still haunted him when he heard it.

Come back next week to see the second song and another short snippet from my upcoming novel, No Sacrifice. Thanks for reading and listening!