Sara Bareilles current single “Brave” was written for a friend who was having trouble coming out to his family.
Since its release over a month ago, the song—co-written by fun.’s Jack Antonoff—has found its way into the LGBT community and deeply resonated, thanks to its encouraging message. Toss in a shout-out from George Takei, and the song is practically an anthem. However, all the love for “Brave” has surprised Bareilles.
“The messaging of the song felt anthemic to me personally,” Bareilles told Radio.com about the track, which she wrote not only for her friend, but also as a way to address her own demons. “But I didn’t really realize that it was going to connect in the way that it did, and it’s really amazing to watch this song sort of take on a life of its own.”
On her recent solo tour, Bareilles asked fans to share some of their bravest moments by writing them down on a postcard that she would feature on her website. “It’s not like people were writing, ‘I’m brave enough to win the basketball game,’” she explained. “It was like, ‘I’m brave enough to tell my family who I really am.’”
The stories that were shared actually inspired Bareilles to turn her “Brave Enough” postcards into an initiative. She hopes to get the concept into schools in the next year.
“It’s a really reflective process to look at your fears in that way,” Bareilles said. “And what I like about the concept of brave is that it’s not about the outcome. It’s about the intention of turning to face what scares you.”
This is something she believes our country needs to do when it comes to the issue of gay marriage, particularly as the Supreme Court prepares to make a decision on two high profile same-sex marriage cases. The first is the decision on overturning Proposition 8, California’s 2008 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The other is whether the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)–the 1996 law that restricts federal marriage benefits be given to only heterosexual couples–should be ruled unconstitutional. The decisions are slated to come by the end of June, and could arrive as soon as this week.
“I think for me this has always been a human rights issue and I feel embarrassed that we’re still having these conversations in 2013,” she said. “I understand why [the issue] is complicated, but to me its such an obvious development that just has to happen.”