Shoshanna Bean

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I don’t know when—or  how— it  began,  but I’ve never had any semblance of tolerance for inequality. The  idea that someone’s skin color, sexual orientation,  gender identity,  or religion made them different, less than, or wrong is not how I was raised.

My  inner circle  of friends and colleagues have  always been made up of a literal rainbow of flavors, but I realize not everyone in the world was raised like I was. I realize not everyone shares my views and my feelings. I realize we are still dealing with a lot of hatred, fear, judgment,  and intolerance—forces that are destructive.

The only way I know to respond to destruction is to create: Create more love, more art, more music, more beauty, more connection. When opposing forces seek to destroy or diminish, I seek to build.

Three years ago,  I  sang the original demo for This Is Me which would later be used in the blockbuster movie The Greatest Showman. When I heard the song for the first time, I knew instantly that Justin Paul and Benj Pasek had written an incredibly important song. It was more than a hit record. It was an anthem for all underdogs: all of us who have ever felt misunderstood, underestimated, unseen, unappreciated, unaccepted, unloved.

I waited three long years to sing that song again and recorded my own version as soon as I was able. To donate the proceeds to the Center was a no-brainer for me because I wanted to give to a place that’s local and speaks to a powerful and important cause. I wanted to call attention to the Center that has been fighting for, protecting, empowering, and caring for the underdogs for nearly 50 years.

My peers, my co-workers, co-creators, best friends, my employers, and employees are all part of the LGBT community. They are my family. Their struggle is my struggle, their fight is my fight. And this song is our anthem.

This is me. And this is why I give.

Broadway veteran and Billboard chart topping recording artist Bean is donating all of the proceeds from her single This Is Me to the Center. Download This Is Me on iTunes. To learn more, visit ShoshanaBean.com

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