Mary Lambert to sing for Kitsap Q-Youth

She's most-well known for writing the course for "Same Love," a current hit song of hip-hop artists Ben Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

Mary Lambert, the Seattle-born signer, songwriter and spoken word artist, has, for several years, been a spokesperson for gay rights.

And to show her support for gay rights, Lambert will perform a benefit concert Kitsap Q-Youth Resources on Friday, Sept. 6. The concert will be at 8 p.m. at Seattle Town Hall, in downtown Seattle.

It all came about by chance, said Deborah Welch, Q-Youth board president.

"We were wanting to do a fund-raising concert," said Welch. "Our former executive director (Kim McKoy) said she had a loose connection to Mary and maybe we could get her to perform. It was more a 'friend of a friend' thing and we didn't think we had a chance, but we said 'Let's try."

A few phone calls and it was set. Lambert agreed to perform to help raise funds for the nonprofit that provides resources to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning and straight ally youth from ages 13 to 20 years.

"Because she (Mary) speaks to the youth that we represent, this is a real meaningful event for us," Welch said.

Lambert, 24, has been performing for about two years. Her words come from a difficult childhood that included sexual abuse and depression. Her mother came out as a lesbian when Mary was 6 years old. Mary, herself, came out at age 17 as a lesbian.

She first sang with Macklemore and Lewis on their album The Heist in October 2012.

Q-Youth Resources grew out of the Kitsap County HIV AIDS Foundation as a way to serve youth. Q-Youth has been helping youth since Jan. 1 of this year.

According to Krystal Bradley, youth coordinator for Q-Youth, youth who know they are gay, or who are questioning their sexual identity, and straight youth who support gay youth, are welcome to a Friday evening safe event every week, sponsored by the organization.

There are also workshops, support groups, dances, and other events for youth.

"We network with the gay student associations at the area schools," she said. "We try to provide a safe place for gay youth to be with others and to learn more about themselves."

The Friday evenings also provide youth a place where they can be themselves.

"Some of the kids who show up are out," she said. "Some aren't. Some haven't told their families and they just need a place where they can be themselves until they feel comfortable being who they are."

Too, adults who support them and their lifestyle, are there to help the youth as they determine their future, she said.

There may only be a handful who attend some weeks. Other weeks there are a few dozens. But the youth who come are listened to, and supported, said Bradley. Ands that's something that she grew up without.

"I graduated from Central Kitsap in 1999," she said. "My mother is a lesbian and I was raised by her and her partner. Back then, there was nobody I could tell, not even my best friends. It was just something that people didn't accept."

Having experienced that, she decided to try to help other youth who have identity issues, or who have family situations that can be difficult. After getting her human services degree from Western Washington University, she went to work for Q-Youth.

"As I got older, I realized that I couldn't be silent anymore," she said. "I knew I had to be involved in making the world more accepting of everyone."

Welch's story is similar. She recalled that high school friends of her's who were gay, couldn't express who they were when she was in high school.

"They didn't have a place to go," Welch said. "Some of the people I love the most had to live by not being who they really were. That's just not right. All youth need to have resources and that's why I had to support this organization."

She's been board president for five months and works full time as an advisor for the vocational program at Olympic College in Bremerton. Being on the board, she knows that the funding for the organization depends on events such as this concert and other donations.

"There's no more county, state or federal funding," she said. "So that's why these events are so important."

Tickets for the concert range from $10 to $40 and are available through, or the Q-Youth website at

Lambert received the 2011 Seattle Poetry Slam award, the 2012 West Coast Regional Poetry Slam award and the 2013 MTV Video Music Award for Best Video with a social message for "Same Love." Her website is

Here are Mary's words from "Same Love":

And I can't change

Even if I tried

Even if I wanted to

And I can't change

Even if I tried

Even if I wanted to

My love, my love, my love

She keeps me warm

She keeps me warm

She keeps me warm

She keeps me warm



We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 14
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates