A few months ago, The KindRED Pride Foundation announced a new global vision building on the tradition of “gay day” at Magic Kingdom, which is always held on the first Saturday of June to Kick Off Pride Month.
The KindRED Pride Foundation was inspired by the desire to expand the magic created by the 28-year tradition of the original “Gay Day at Magic Kingdom” in Orlando. The event started with just a handful of people who decided they would meet socially on the first Saturday in June in front of the castle. They would all wear RED t-shirts to identify each other since most had only met on a computer bulletin board service and never all in person.
The event quickly grew to one of the largest LGBT+ annual gatherings in the world. The growth was in part a result of the national media exposure brought on by the protests by far-right groups threatening to boycott. The original attendees unwittingly pioneered one of the first gay travel “destination” weekends. Who could have known the tremendous impact of the original gathering would have on the social fabric of our community as hundreds of thousands of guests from around the world experienced the magic of RED Shirt Pride Day each year and took the stories and images back to their communities.
The KindRED Pride Foundation’s mission is to honor the kindred spirit, bravery, and courage of the original attendees back in 1991 by expanding the “grass roots” desire to bring the community together to celebrate and to support endeavors by like-minded charities within the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, and Ally (LGBTQIA) community by producing sporting, music, and other special events. The organization is aligning with national, regional, and local non-profits who provide valuable resources to fight bullying, teen homelessness, HIV services, and legal/business/housing services to the LGBT+ community.
The goal is to get 1,000,000 or more like-minded people to wear RED on June 1, 2019 no matter where you are in the world.
In addition KindRED pride will feature one major event this year on Thursday, May 30 at House of Blues in Orlando: “We Are One.” This will be an extravaganza for diversity & incusion and feature performances by Shangela (RuPaul’s Drag Race and All-Stars), Ty Herndon, Brody Ray, MDO, Erin Foley, Beth Sacks, Antigravity, Varietease, and much more all hosted by Jorge Estevez with music by DJs Tatiana and JB Burgos.
It was a pleasure to sit down with Brody Ray for this exclusive Hotspots interview:
At what age did you begin singing?
At about age 14. I was playing guitar at age 8 and I eventually got a little bored as I mastered the guitar and at that point I started singing and playing shows.
When did you know singing would be your career?
I think I knew as soon as I picked up the guitar. I had been performing with my family since I was a little kid in diapers. In middle school I would say I am going to be a rock star when I grow up.
When did you realize you were trans?
I guess I always knew in my mind that something was off. I would tell my mom I was a boy at the age of 3. At age 5, I was kicking and screaming for the boy toys and to cut my hair off, and I refused to wear a dress. At that point I finally felt normal. I didn’t know what the word was at that time but I knew I was a boy trapped in a girl’s body. At 14, I got cleared to do any physical changes I wanted to do, but my mom asked me to wait till after high school, and then she continued to ask me to wait. Finally, at age 21/22, I couldn’t wait anymore and then my mom stepped up and paid for all my surgery’s (hundreds of thousands of dollars).
How did America’s Got Talent happen?
I had been auditioning for singing shows, and would get to the celebrity round and get so nervous I would bomb it, as I would have panic attacks. I spoke to my doctor and he gave me this heart rate pill, which gave me more courage. After that, I decided I would audition for AGT, and I sent in a video audition by mail, and I got asked to come in sing for the national auditions with 2 executive producers. They loved it and then I got to perform at the L.A. rounds where I sang for the celebrities, and the medication worked. Unfortunately, I forgot to take it for the second round and I bombed. But everything happens for a reason.
How has life been since America’s Got Talent?
I have been the “Yes” man and been performing everywhere. I have also been spending thousands of dollars on my music and have been pushing out lots of music. I just released a new single last Friday “Take it too Far” on all digital music platforms. This year, I am performing at a lot of pride festivals in May and June.
Do you have a girlfriend or special someone?
I am engaged to be married in October. We met about 6 years ago. We met at a birthday party originally and then the second time at a bar, and the rest is history.
What should we expect at your performance at Kindred Pride?
I think I am going to perform some songs that I sang on America’s Got Talent. I will also have a two-minute video that I think everyone will love. It will be a great high-energy show and I am going to celebrate with everybody.
Become a #bekindchampion, learn more, and/or purchase tickets to “We Are One” at: at Kindredpride.org.