At His Lowest Point, Gay Man Finds Escape in Creating Music. “I’m Happier Than I’ve Ever Been.”

by Kelvin Bloodsaw

Hi, my name is Kelvin Bloodsaw. I’m from Martinez, California.

I grew up in Philadelphia. I was raised by my mom, single mother. We lived with my grandmother. Ever since I was young, I always sort of questioned my sexuality. I was just very unsure about it and really about myself. And I feel like from a very young age, a lot of my counterparts sorta picked up on that.

And so being so young and really unsure of myself and my sexuality and being labeled as such, it was really something that just sent me to, like, a very, very, very dark place. It took me a very long time to come out. I remember I spent most of my years obviously pretending to be straight, pretending to be someone that I’m not.

I think by the time I was 26, after years of just living in the closet, denying myself to live my truth and who I was, I randomly met this guy. It was just very easy for me to be around him. It was very easy for me to just feel comfortable, you know, being with another man. It was the first time I’d ever really experienced that in my life.

Long story short, this individual helped me come out by chance. I was… he was at my house. I snuck him in. And my entire family came and I’m just like chilling in my room. He’s, like, getting out of the shower and they’re like, “Kelvin, who the hell is this like in our house?” It’s literally my mother and my father and my grandmother all standing over me in my room, like, asking me to explain. I thought I was going to die.

He sort of introduced himself, like, almost like as if he had known my family or that he had a right to be there and that I hadn’t stuck them in or whatnot. Naturally they kicked him out, but what that sort of did was pretty much usher my coming out.

My parents were very accepting as well as my grandmother. You know, during what was probably the scariest moment in my life, this guy was there for me and he was cool. And like, he talked to my parents and like, it just, it made everything feel okay. And I think that that particular experience for me personally is what sort of caused me to really bond with this individual.

You know, we started dating. Very quickly before I know it, when he was over my house all the time, I was over his house all the time. Things were good for about three or four months until I remember one particular day, I was at this career fair for, like, a new job. And I’m getting this phone call, I’m getting this phone call, I’m getting this phone call. And so I answer and it’s him and he’s like, “Oh, I need you to, like, come over. Like, I’m not feeling well. Like just… I need you to be here.” Blah, blah, blah.

I just left the interview, like, came back to sort of check on him… and he didn’t really seem to be as in dire need as, like, he sorta sounded to be. But I really brushed it off. It just sort of progressed to where, you know, it was, you know, at work, he needed me… when I was out, he needed me… when I was with friends, he needed me.

I took it as, you know, He really likes me. He really loves me. He really cares about me. So, you know, I think a part of me… I felt indebted to him because of what he had helped me through.

You know, I ended up moving in because he wanted me to move in. I quit my job and I was working for, like, his mom. So, like, now it was, you know, very intertwined with him and his family and his life. I feel like it just took a point where once I had sort of given all of myself, I feel like that sort of gratitude just really wasn’t reciprocated. There was a lot of infidelity, a lot of lies and so forth. And so after about a year and a half of just sort of chipping away at my spirit, my mind, like I just was very broken.

One time, I literally went out to buy groceries. I came back to his apartment and there was someone there and like, I just lost it. Like I just, I lost it and I literally just dropped the groceries. I left all of my stuff, went home and really never looked back.

I remember just, you know, locking myself in my grandmother’s… in my bedroom, like my childhood bedroom, blinds down, just sorta dark and, you know, I just slept and slept and slept. So I just sort of sank deeper and deeper into this depression.

I didn’t have a phone. I didn’t have a laptop. I didn’t have a tablet. I didn’t have any of those things. All I really have was my radio, like my childhood radio. I remember during the time the City Girls had just dropped this really hot song called “Act Up”. And it was just a great song. I don’t know what it was about that particular song in that particular moment, but it literally just catapulted me out of the bed. And I swear, like, I performed that song like I literally was, like, the third member of like the City Girls. And I remember when the song was over, just standing in my room, like, looking around like, Oh my gosh, I feel something.

And I don’t know, why I just got this idea. I was like, You know what? Like, I feel like I’m going to write my own verse to the song. I don’t know why… I was like, I feel like they were giving me life. They were empowering me. And I’m like, I need to, like, I need to give my perspective on this song and I need to say what I’m feeling.

So I think I wrote a freestyle maybe like 15, 20 minutes. And so just to get something out, like some words, like almost like a sort of poetry of how I was feeling, it just… it put the biggest smile on my face. And I was like, I have not been this happy to have just written, you know, like 16 bars, like in so long. So I would practice into my room. It sort of just gave me something to do.

My best friend who lives in DC, he would have these long drives from work. So, you know, I was telling him, I was like, “Okay, like, I know this is crazy, but I wrote a verse for the City Girls Act Up.”

So he’s like, “Okay, like, whatever, like ,go for it.” So I freestyle it, like acapella, no… no music, no nothing ‘cause I had no reference on the phone with him.

And he just was like, “Kelvin, like, what the fuck?” I’m not kidding you, he was like “That was so fucking good.” That really was the particular moment that made me feel like, okay, crazy but why don’t you give this a shot?

Eventually I got another phone and I’m like a tablet or whatnot, but I still didn’t have a job. So in between like searching for jobs, I would just sort of be in my room. I’d find little beats to whatever kind of song on the radio I’d liked at that particular time and I would write verses and record them on my phone and like upload them to Instagram. And you know, people took liking to them. You know, I got to meet a lot of other creatives, other producers and so forth.

It just made me feel so good. And I feel like after just the majority of my life questioning who I was, being labeled, giving myself to others, this was the first time that I was literally just doing something for me. Eventually I met producers. I got into the studio.

Since then, I was like, I got a great job. I got sober. I sort of started volunteering more, just more things to sort of fulfill sorta I think that void that was in me for a long time.

Music for me has been really just medicine to my soul. It’s sort of just instilled within me like a confidence and sort of self-love that I never really had. Like I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’m single and I’m happy. You know what I mean? I’m gay and I’m happy. I’m making music and I’m happy. But like most importantly, like I love myself and I have never, ever, ever been able to say that. So just being able to, like, say it and mean it and know it, you know, good, bad and different it’s just… it’s so magical.

And I really hope that you know, anyone who listens to my music or gets to know me can just know that I’m all about self-love and really uplifting and encouraging and inspiring other people to be who they are because it’s totally okay.

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