I’ve been a Prince fan since high school, when I had his Purple Rain poster on my bedroom wall.
What I loved most about Prince was how he transcended gender, race, and sexual orientation and wasn’t afraid to be different. I also loved his other-worldly energy, his perfectionist work ethic, and the many positive messages in his songs.
He was incredibly talented and creative, not just with his music, but with his appearance. He dressed the way he wanted to dress, combining male and female elements, and always doing it with pizazz.
He was who he wanted to be, despite what others thought. But he was also an intensely private person. Perhaps he needed to be in order to balance exposing so much of himself through his public persona and music.
Early in his career he opened for the Rolling Stones in Los Angeles. Dressed in bikini briefs and a trench coat (and heels, I hope), he fled the stage after concert goers threw beer cans and homophobic slurs at him.
Thankfully, Prince persevered, went on to huge success, and touched millions with his talent.
Can you imagine if he had decided to not express himself and his talent, and instead played safe and small in order to conform and not ruffle any feathers?
Prince taught me that it’s okay to be who you are, and that the world needs you as you are. Express yourself, your talent (whatever it may be), and your love, and the world will be a better place.
Copyright © 2016 Stephen Petullo
Photo Credit: Micahmedia at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,