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The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Tyler Childers’ new song, “In Your Love,” breaks conservative country stereotypes

Cover+for+Tyler+Childers%E2%80%99+upcoming+album+%E2%80%9CRustin%E2%80%99+in+the+Rain%E2%80%9D+which+contains+the+single+%E2%80%9Cin+your+love%E2%80%9D
Hickman Holler Records
Cover for Tyler Childers’ upcoming album “Rustin’ in the Rain” which contains the single “in your love”

Country music can often be described as the defining genre of the conservative movement due to its majority conservative fanbase. This has allowed many country singers to say and do controversial things without experiencing backlash since their views reflect the views of their audience. Country music has become an area of the media where conservatives are able to disregard opposing views, since the fanbase is relatively uniform in political opinion.

The music genre originated in the south, and has continued to be most popular there. The south has stayed more traditional than the rest of the country, and because of this a majority of country fans align with conservative values. This has caused the fanbase of this genre to not be very open to many minority groups, like the LGBTQ, but in recent times this industry has been changing. 

Country singer Tyler Childers announced the release of his new album along with a single, “In Your Love,” on July 27, 2023. After years of radio silence from Childers, fans were ecstatic about the new release. For conservative listeners, however, that excitement turned to anger when they viewed the music video.

The music video depicts the love story of two men who are coal miners and the tribulations they have to face as gay men in the 50’s. This cinematic and emotional story forced many homophobic listeners to face the ramifications of their beliefs, which did not satisfy them.

Liberal activism in the country genre is extremely scarce compared to other types of music. For artists in different genres, like Taylor Swift or Harry Styles, displaying support to minority groups would not have a drastic effect on their fans, but in country music it is a much larger issue. The video is one of the few brave steps taken by country artists to freely express open themes of identity and sexuality. 

The message of this video did not align with the views of many country fans, resulting in an uprising of hate towards Childers. On social media, many fans were claiming they would no longer listen to Childers’ music.  Many conservatives in the media were uncomfortable with the idea of an LGBTQ romance infiltrating their music. 

Junior Kelly Wilson, an avid country music fan, expressed her opinion of the media’s reaction. “Childers knew the negative reaction he would get from fans before he released it, but he also knew the importance of LGBTQ country fans to see themselves represented in their favorite genre,” she said.“The video probably made him lose money, but in exchange it helped uplift a community of people that country fans, more often than not, look down on.”

The song, though hated by many, was also celebrated by fans who are excited to see this change in country music. Junior Kiley Leonard stated her thoughts on the music video. “I think everyone should be able to enjoy any kind of music, and a part of that enjoyment is being represented,” she expressed. “There are so many country love songs about heterosexual relationships, it is nice that there is finally one that represents homosexuality in a positive light.”

This video has helped people in the LGBTQ community that listen to country music feel less outcasted. By witnessing a video that depicts love between two men from over 50 years ago, it also makes people come to terms with the fact queerness is not a new progressive movement, but something people are born with and has been around for a long time. The video has helped normalize queerness and show gay couples are able to love and be happy the same as straight couples. 

Although conservative viewers are claiming to stop supporting liberal artists, country artists like Childers are continuing to express their support towards minorities. This causes them to lose streams and money, but it doesn’t deter them from making their music. Artists are standing up for what they believe, disregarding hate from their fans, and not letting money get in the way.

By adding LGBTQ representation in country music, artists are beginning to show conservative audiences that the LGBTQ community will always be a prominent part of society. This is making many fans be more tolerant, and although tolerance is not equivalent to acceptance, it is still a step forward from opposition.

 

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Priya Suresh
Priya Suresh, Social Media Manager
Priya Suresh is a junior at Pleasant Valley High School and is Social Media Manager for the online Spartan Shield. She participates in school tennis and band. Outside of school you can find her working at Small Town Pastry or attending Art lessons. She enjoys reading, listening to music, watching rom-coms, hanging out with friends and doing anything in nature.

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