Singer k.d. lang is backing the Birmingham primary school teacher currently at the centre of protests over his lessons on gay relationships.
The star has sent a message of support to Andrew Moffat, who is leading the Birmingham Pride parade this weekend.
The LGBTQ campaigner, who is playing the city’s Symphony Hall in July, told him: “Stay strong and stay compassionate.”
The row over Mr Moffat’s No Outsiders programme is still raging in the city, with protesters gathering daily outside primary schools to let it be known that they feel the lessons go against their religious beliefs.
Mr Moffat and his headteacher have both received violent threats, which k.d. has also experienced. She was attacked when she came out as a lesbian, and when she supported the Meat Stinks campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Furious protestors in her home state of Alberta, in the middle of Canada’s cattle ranches, burned down a sign saying ‘Home of k.d. lang’ and she was banned from radio stations. Her record company received bomb threats.
Speaking from her home in Calgary, k.d. says of Mr Moffat: “I would tell him to stay strong and stay compassionate to the other side. It all goes wrong when you see your opposition as enemies, when it’s just a matter of education and openness.
“I know that in the face of that hatred it does get very difficult at times to stay compassionate, but everyone has their reasons for what they believe. You have to stay open, as hard as it is. Hate is a powerful weapon, so you have to be super flexible to absorb the impact.
“After I came out, religious groups picketed the Grammys. Meat Stinks was my most difficult time, because it affected my family and people around me. There were violent threats and that was a little bit scary.”
k.d., born Kathryn Dawn Lang 57 years ago, shot to fame in the 1990s with her global hit, Constant Craving. Her languid, pitch-perfect voice led Michael Bublé to call her “the greatest female singer in the whole world”.
Her Ingenue Redux show sees k.d. playing her double platinum 1992 Ingenue album in full, in sequence, followed by other hits.
k.d. started her 2011 UK tour at Symphony Hall but hasn’t been back since, as touring is a rarity for her these days. While she still loves to sing, she certainly doesn’t crave the spotlight.
“I absolutely remember Birmingham. It’s a beautiful hall and I remember it sounding lovely. I’m excited to be coming back and to rekindle these songs. I like to tour when there’s a good solid reason, but I don’t feel the need to perform.
“I feel like I’ve accomplished enough. I feel I’ve given it my best. I still like to sing, but I can sing in the shower or to my dog. It doesn’t have to be in front of an audience on stage.”
k.d. lang returns to Birmingham on 27 July. See www.thsh.co.uk or contact 0121 780 3333 for more information and tickets.
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