Beverly Glenn-Copeland

The Coronavirus is hitting everybody hard and in different ways. For me it means still having to work but keeping an extra social distance from my coworkers (easily done) and instead of going out at night to the gym, a concert, or dinner with friends (not as easy), I’m staying home. Just before normalcy came to an end, I started volunteering for a local gay and lesbian film festival. Lucky for me, it gives me something to watch at home and lucky for them, I’m watching a butt-load of movies.

I don’t even know what I’m about to watch most nights, I just work my way down a list. I’ve watched so many movies about being gay in Israel in the 60’s that I feel I lived it and one too many documentaries about places I can’t find on a map that persecutes gays in ways that cause me to lose sleep. Is there hazard pay for volunteering?

The other night’s documentary of randomness was Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story. Who’s Beverly Glenn-Copeland? I had no clue, but in my gay opinion, he’s a musician that most folks should know, especially in the LGBTQ community. What I like most is he lives his life without apologies or letting the hard times get him down. He grew up black in the 50’s and 60’s (I assume that wasn’t easy) while openly living a non-straight lifestyle when it was illegal (anyone who can laugh off escaping electroshock therapy to be “fixed”, is good in my book) before coming out as a trans man. All the while becoming a classically trained musician and independent recording artist who wasn’t popular until later in life.

Beverly’s sound is just as unique as he is. His earlier work in the 70’s has a very jazzy-torch, sort of Joan Baez sound. It’s dark and broody which isn’t my go-to style of music but right now it comforts me. His more current work in the 2000’s is like electronic world music. It has a lighter life-affirming sound that gives me hope. As he transitioned, so did his music.

When life gets back to normal, I have to believe at some point it will, seeing Beverly Glenn-Copeland in concert is now high on my list of things to do.

 

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