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February 22, 2014 9:09 AM Morning music: Kacey Musgraves, “Follow Your Arrow”

By Kathleen Geier

I’ve written about my adoration for Kacey Musgraves previously in this space. As I said then, though I love country music, I’m not thrilled with most of the product Nashville churns out these days. But Kacey is different. Her 2013 album, Same Trailer, Different Park, marked the emergence of a country original. I was delighted to learn that her latest single from that album, “Follow Your Arrow,” shot up to number 10 on the Nashville charts last week — especially because it boasts such gay-friendly lyrics. Not long ago, a song like this would have created a scandal in the country music world, but these days it’s barely provoked a raised eyebrow. When it comes to LGBT issues, we’ve come some such a long way in this country in warp speed (though that doesn’t mean we still don’t have far to go, of course). I’m sure there are a lot of LGBT teens, in red America especially, who appreciated hearing this song.

It’s a really great “screw the haters” song, and in a way, it’s also a covert feminist anthem. The body policing and harsh scrutiny of sexual choices she refers to are things that women experience far more often than men. By the way, some of the comments on YouTube for this video are inadvertently hilarious. My favorite: “Moral relativism at its worst.” In other words, a big-hearted, life-affirming anti-hater song brings out a judgmental pack of Church Ladies and Mrs. Grundys. But of course!

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee

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