Tyler Glenn, lead signer of Neon Trees is making a very public statement in the band’s video “Songs I Can’t Listen To” by recruiting LGBTQI activist, writer and director Dustin Lance Black to play the part of his partner for the purposes of the video’s story of lost love.
In spring of 2014, Glenn came out on Twitter as being “a happy, gay, Mormon, pop star”.
The “Songs I Can’t Listen To” music video tells the story of a young gay man living with haunting memories and his own internal difficulties in listening to music that he once shared with his ex-lover portrayed by Black. Clearly one of the goals here is to demonstrate that a same-sex relationship resembles traditional relationships in how they look to viewers on the screen, and that’s an extremely important message if non-traditional relationship choices are going to continue to become more mainstream in society.
Glenn grew up in California as an Army brat and eventually moved to Utah. Interestingly he, along with all of the other members of the band, are members of the ultra conservative Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which is the official designation of what is traditionally known as the Mormon or LDS church. Glenn insists thier church is warming to the idea of LGBTQI equality.
Dustin Lance Black, who also grew up Mormon, continues to work within the LDS church to encourage more acceptance of the LGBTQI community.
Music video by Neon Trees. Songs I Can’t Listen To. (C) 2015 Island Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.