Digital Love: Jared Gelman
In celebration of Pride Month, we’re spotlighting old Internet lovers and friends, many of whom made queer love, in all its digital forms, possible in the early aughts. What kind of love letter would you write to those special folks? How would you thank them for helping you make it through? Here, we asked singer Jared Gelman. Read his letter, below.
It’s surreal thinking about how you and I met online nearly a decade ago. I was in 7th grade at the time, and we both frequented the same online music forums where people discussed the happenings of various pop stars. You lived in Ireland, and even though I lived in the New York area, the accessibility we had to each other from these sites made it feel like we were hanging out together each time we entered a chat room. When I felt isolated from my peers in high school, our friendship reminded me that there were people out there who could love and accept me the way I am. Thank you for helping me find comfort at a time when I thought I’d never find a tribe of people to call mine. Now, I’m a year out of college and it’s been nearly a decade with you in my life.
Over the past few years, our friendship has grown so much. From your trips to America, to our random club nights in Barcelona, we’ve really evolved from URL to IRL. In an age where apps help strangers access friends, hookups, and romance from each other, our friendship began before all that… perhaps it’s lasted so long because it stemmed organically from a common love of pop culture.
When we first started our conversations, I was always open about my love for making music. Your sister was an amazing producer, and you connected us so we could work on some demos to release. Through this process, your sister became a part of my family as well. It was ultimately through this that my love for music-making propelled into me pursuing a career as an artist. When your sister passed away a few years ago, you and I stuck together to help share her story around the world, and spread awareness regarding suicide rates in the Trans community.
Now, I’m currently living in Los Angeles. I moved here, and have been recording music, which will be out by summer. You’re currently living in the UK, and seem to be surrounded by the most magical people. I can’t wait until later this year when we unite again.. probably in New York City? Within minutes of being together, it always feels like the good old days. Circumstances may change, but we are always the same through it all.
I love you loads. Cheers to many more years of friendship. Can’t wait to squeeze you when I see you next… and play you all the new songs.
Jared Gelman x
Featured image courtesy of Josh Smith.
Stay tuned to Milk for more digital love and peep the rest of the series here.