Eric, in his own words: “In my study of music, I struggle to rid myself of a lifetime of fear and constructions in order to build a real connection with others. In the same way, I feel like all people, no matter what identity, struggle to break down these same walls in an effort to be themselves.
I struggle with societies definitions of masculinity and of homosexuality. After I came out, I didn’t want to identify with any definition. Participating in this project is special to me because for the first time, I feel like I am contributing to the larger gay experience and connecting to a community by simply being myself.
My career has given me the opportunity to travel and make music in many parts of the world. I feel thankful to be able to live here, freely, as myself. Expressing myself the way that I need to, striving to live the way I want to and being able to love who I want to.
I grew up a Mennonite in central Pennsylvania. My 86 year old grandmother is a conservative Mennonite and grew up immersed in dogmatic Christian theology. When she found out I was gay, it was difficult, but our relationship has come a long way since. She voted for the first time in her life, for Obama, in part for her change of heart on gay rights issues. The love of my family astounds me. Even when they don’t agree or understand where I am coming from, everyone is open to conversation in an effort to reach common ground. This is a beautiful thing.
A favorite quote of mine:
“In a word, we must create our own essence; it is in throwing ourselves into the world, in suffering with it, that – little by little – we define ourselves.”