I can tell you first-hand, he’s a nice guy. We met 4 years ago when he was performing at The Trevor Project‘s annual gala (Trevor is a teen LGBT suicide hotline) He has bought a lot of my work, rerouted his tour bus to come to an opening reception and flown in from day off touring to host a dinner for another exhibit of mine. I’ve met up with him on tour in Europe in ’12 and we collaborated on a piece from my last show. The reason I’m telling you this is not to say I know a cool guy –a famous musician, who collects my work – but rather just to illustrate what a good guy and a great friend he is. And not just to me. I’ve seen his kindness in action, for the sake of it, not for PR. He has thousands fans screaming his name but he is as grounded (more so) than most people I know. I’ve just asked him to borrow his huge framed piece we collaborated for another exhibit and home just one day from his summer tour, he just texted me to say he’s happy to get it ready to ship out across the country. I love the guy. So, it was no surprise to me to see these quotes in The Advocate. His new album “Yes!” (a word we both love that I’ve used in my work, one that he owns) The album, recorded, written and performed with Raining Jane, is out July 15. But the coming out quotes are what is getting attention.
In addition to music, Mraz has said YES to many philanthropic endeavors. In 2011 he established the Jason Mraz Foundation, which supports charities working in areas Mraz considers personal passions, such as environmental preservation, education, and worldwide human equality. LGBT civil rights are a component of that human equality and Mraz admits it’s a view that formed the moment one of his best friends came out to him during his senior year of high school.
“When [Steven] came out to me it blew my mind. I thought that was so courageous, because of the potential for abuse and the potential for violence — it was something that I worried about for him. But I also thought it was the coolest thing anyone could do, and from then on I knew I wanted to support him and anyone else who was courageous enough to just be themselves.
“Steven was a huge Madonna fan. So, I may know all the words to “Bedtime Stories”, “Erotica”, and a few more of her albums – and we may have watched Truth or Dare a thousand times. I thank him so much for turning me on to all of that, because it may have influenced me big time in who I’ve become now that I’m onstage, and since here I am now, with a bit of a platform and a microphone, it’s a no-brainer. I should be speaking up for some of my best friends, my management team, my employees, and many of my colleagues. We’re all in this together.”
“By the time my children are born, I know it’s possible that they can grow up in a world where they don’t understand that there were ever any dividers between people and why we have the issues we do today. That’s my goal in this life. To just clean it all up so that by the time my kids are born and they’re adults they’ll only read about it in history books.”
When I grow up, I want to be like Jason Mraz. Seriously, he’s one of my heroes in this life. (You can get tour and album info here)