Posted by Evan Trowbridge 35 weeks 6 days ago
Aaron Weiss reached his arm into his backpack, which was laid atop a swath of Sharpie graffiti tattooed on our table.Ever since he walked on the stage earlier that night, I was imagining what was in that backpack, which bulged enough that the zipper didn’t close all the way. The bar we were in was dark and loud. It was 1:00 am. Most of the folks who had come to see mewithoutYou had already left for the night “You’ll get a kick out of this,” he said.He pulled out a hymn book much wider than it was tall. “The Sacred Harp” was written across its brown cover in foil-stamped lettering. Weiss began to explain Sacred Harp singing to me, but he couldn’t go into too much detail; it was getting late, and there were a group of men waiting to donate veggie oil to the band — they use it to fuel their tour bus.Sacred Harp music, I learned later, is sung a cappella with four sections — tenor, alto, treble and bass — forming the boarders of a square. But the singers don’t face out to an audience; they are turned toward the center of the square. The very center, where only one person stands, is the focal point. As our conversation began to drift to the subjects of performance and fame, it seemed fitting for Weiss to be carrying this book.
Posted by Evan Trowbridge 1 year 37 weeks ago
[Editors' note: This post is part of a series over the last few weeks on youth homelessness. In the September/October issue of Sojourners magazine, the Ali Forney Center and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) ran an ad to raise awareness of the serious problem of LGBT youth homelessness.] Fact 1) About 40 percent of the homeless youth in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Fact 2) One in four teens rejected by their families becomes homeless. Fact 3) Parents who identify as strongly religious are three times more likely to reject their children. Yet for Carl Siciliano, founder and president of the Ali Forney Center, these aren't just facts -- they are his daily life.
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