A powerful new music video is bringing attention to the harrowing abuse suffered by LGBT people in three of the world’s most homophobic nations, and created a tragically uplifting anthem for those living in those countries.
Detroit DJ Steven James teamed up with singer-songwriter Quentin Sound to produce ‘We Know Who We Are’, with the video juxtaposing the pulsing EDM beat and catchy lyrics with harrowing news footage of anti-gay violence in Russia, Jamaica and Uganda.
Although the issues in those countries have been pretty well documented, it’s still incredibly shocking when you see the statistics laid out at the beginning of the video – in Jamaica, sexual acts between men are punishable with up to ten years in prison, while in Uganda it can carry a potential life sentence behind bars.
Meanwhile in Russia, although there are no laws criminalising same-sex relationships, the well-publicised infamous law passed in 2013 which bans the spread of gay “propaganda” has led to an increase in homophobic violence in the nation.
While the graphic images of homophobic violence in the video are extremely harrowing to watch, there is an uplifting and positive message in the song lyrics. As Sounds sings: “We move mountains, skyscrapers if they get in our way. No matter what people say about us, we know who we are”. Powerful stuff.
Speaking to UNILAD about the purpose of the song and the music video, Steven James said:
I want to tell people in those three countries there is nothing wrong with being gay, no matter what their locals and leaders say. I have also been upset by the lack of attention the media, LGBT right activists and Hollywood have given [the issue].
Besides spreading awareness, the tune also has a charitable aim, with James saying he will donate 50 per cent of proceeds from iTunes sales of the single to LGBT youth organizations in Russia, Jamaica and Uganda: Children-404, the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (JFLAG) and Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).
You can support the cause and download the song here.