Loving Out Loud

The Love Loud Concert Raised Funds For LGBT Youth While Bringing People Together


Maggie Lea

Imagine Dragons performs at Love Loud concert.

Caylee Caldwell, Opinion Editor

It’s a world of color on July 28 at the Rice-Eccles Stadium. Blues changing to yellows, changing to pinks, people singing, people loving. There is a sense of freedom– no one is afraid… if only that same sense of freedom could follow the crowd once the concert finished.
Unfortunately, many of those in attendance don’t feel safe outside of the Love Loud concert.
This year, on July 28th, at the Love Loud concert Dan Reynolds, lead singer of the band Imagine Dragons and creator of the Love Loud Foundation, began by addressing the crowd asking, “what does it mean to truly love and accept?”. The concert line up consisted of multiple LGBT artists as well as LGBT supporters; including AW, Vagabon, Tyler Glenn, Grace Vanderwall, Mike Shinoda, ZEDD, and, of course, Imagine Dragons. All were there to show their support and love for the community.
The foundation was first created two years ago to raise money to support and help different LGBT foundations and organizations because of the overwhelming problems associated socially with the LGBT community as well as raising awareness for suicide and suicide prevention.
“There are so many people here who lost people they loved. I don’t want people to go through the pain of losing someone,” Izzy Santangelo, a junior at SPA, said. As part of the LGBT community, Santangelo understands the importance of the message Love Loud is trying to send, and was at the concert not only for herself but for her friend, who was also part of the LGBT community, who committed suicide last year.
Reynolds is an ally of the LGBT community and a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As someone who is a strong supporter of the LGBT community, Reynolds understands the struggles of acceptance LGBT people have gone through, and are still going through. Reynolds created the concert to raise awareness for all the lives lost because of discrimination and lack of acceptance. He is tired of seeing people afraid, people dying, people alone. That is why he created the Love Loud foundation, to support and help all the people in the LGBT community by putting all ticket proceeds into foundations such as The Trevor Project, Encircle, and The Tegan and Sara Foundation along with many other local and national LGBT charities. Love Loud is meant to bring people together, to give support, and help people be supported.
For Santangelo, it worked… at least for the night.
“The concert made me feel alive.” Santangelo said, “I didn’t feel alone.”
Santangelo has had her own personal experiences with this problem. She knows what it’s like to be told her love isn’t real, that she is wrong. Once in her art class, she was making a LGBT poster when the kid next to her asked what the sign stood for. When Izzy explained, she was told that none of that was real, that her sexuality was false and wrong.
Many people believe that the segregation against people of the LGBT community has pretty much come to an end, but that assumption is false. All around the world, people are still afraid to be who they are- to speak their truth. People of the LGBT community still cannot love openly the way they should be able to. Love Loud’s purpose is to call attention to this still present problem in our society and support those who need it.
For a long time, people of the LGBT community have been totally and completely alone, told they were wrong or broken. According to The Trevor Project, suicide is the second highest leading cause of death from people ages 10-24, and LGBT youth are five times more likely to consider suicide as an escape. Research indicates that mental health problems, misuse of alcohol and other drugs, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors are more common in this group than in the general population. For more information on suicide and depression facts, go to the Trevor Project’s website. This foundation is trying to show the world that nobody should feel like they have to escape themselves or the world around them, everyone’s life is worth living, everyone’s truth deserves to be shared.
“We should be able to love loud. To love who we want, when we want, no matter what,” Santangelo said.
The organizations being funded are all meant to provide support and safety for the LGBT community. The Trevor Project provides a safe place for youth to find help, talk about their problems, or just be happy in a judgement free place. The Trevor Project provides resources like TrevorSpace, TrevorChat, and TrevorText to help youth in crisis get the help they are looking for or just find people that can relate to them. Similarly, Encircle also provides counseling and friendship circles. They currently have a youth center in Provo and are opening up a second one here in Salt Lake City this year. The Tegan and Sara foundation was launched to fight for justice and representation for LGBT girls and women after both Tegan and Sara came out as gay. The foundation was started during their fall tour in support of their album Love You to Death, and they were the ones who originally inspired Reynolds to start the Love Loud Foundation.
“That is what Love Loud is about: People saying I will stand up for what I know in my heart. I have to speak my truth,” Reynolds said.
Along with all the performers singing their truths, there were many there to give their support and share the message of acceptance through speeches. Among them, was Tim Cook, CEO of Apple and ally of the LGBT community.
“Darkness is always followed by light,” Cook said at the close of the concert.
This foundation shows us that we can be that light, That it’s all about acceptance- It’s all about love. No one’s truth should be left unfound, unspoken, or unlived. Reynolds believes that every truth- every life is important, and that is the message we need to be sending. Not hate, not anger, it’s not about choosing sides or silencing those that deserve to speak. Every person, no matter what they choose, deserves to love and be loved in return. No more hate, no more discrimination, no more silence for those who have been silenced for too long.
It is time to love loud.