Tom Goss Remembers Hidden LGBTQ Heroes in “Pride”
Rich and Ben were cornerstones in their local LGBTQ community, working hard to make Reading a loving, welcoming, and tight-knit city for all. Upon Rich’s death, the city hosted a memorial service in front of City Hall in his honor. “We had a picnic lunch, talked, cried, and visited the cemetery. I got to know more about their love story and was deeply moved,” Tom remembers.
Their story inspired Tom to think about all of the other people who have fought tirelessly to make being gay something to be celebrated. People like Rich and Ben, living and loving quietly but heroically in small cities and towns across the country. The world may never know their names, but that doesn’t make their stories any less important.
Tom issued a post on Facebook, asking LGBTQ couples to share their love stories with him. He was inundated by the most beautiful and moving testimonials from all over the world. One told of Jim and Jim who met in Cheyenne, Wyoming, raised a family, and worked tirelessly to protect the rights of LGBTQ students. Tom thought it a beautiful counterpoint to Rich and Ben’s story and combined both in his song.
“If it were possible, ‘Pride’ would have been countless verses long, detailing the story of hundreds of thousands of loving LGBTQ people who have helped to create what we call pride today,” Tom continues.
Representation is important, so for the song’s music video, Tom cast two women (Connie Kurtew and Dalila Ali Rajah) in the roles of Jim and Jim. London Holloway plays the child in their beautiful and vibrant family. Kayden Petersen-Craig plays Rich; and Tom, aged thirty years with the help of make-up artist Angel, plays the role of Ben.
“I hope ‘Pride’ and its music video encourage people in the community to stop and reflect on how we got to where we are today,” Tom says. “We owe so much to our forefathers and mothers. We cannot begin to imagine the hardships they endured, and that’s by design. They wouldn’t allow it. They wanted a better world for us, so they created it for us.”
“It’s important that we respect and pay homage to those that fought for us and continue the fight for the generations to follow. That is Pride.”