Country singer and songwriter Jewel was once accused of being anti-gay. Her famous song, “Pieces of You,” was criticized for having presumably anti-LGBT lyrics. However, Jewel explained that her song was misinterpreted.
In a recent interview, Jewel explained what the song that she wrote when she was 18 means, and admits she is an avid supporter of the LGBT community.
The offending lyrics include “You say he’s a faggot, does it make you want to hurt him?” and “Faggot, do you hate him/’Cause he’s pieces of you?”
In an interview with Dallas Voice based in Texas, Jewel’s home state, she explains.
When asked who her first gay friend was, she said, “Doug. I think we were in eighth grade. I was so terribly in love with him. He was the only guy who smelled nice and dressed good and was actually kind.”
She continues, “I kept trying to turn him straight but it never worked. [Laughs] Doug’s parents kicked him out when he came out and I had one friend “• this black guy “• and he hated gays. He said, ‘I’m not gonna let you be friends with Doug.’ I saw Arthur, the black kid, years later walking on the beach … holding hands with a guy! Isn’t that typical?”
When asked what inspired the “faggot” lyrics in “Pieces of You,” Jewel said, “All of my gay friends. Not anyone in particular. It just made me look at the nature of hate. It was a personal exploration of trying to figure out the root of my own insecurities “• and, actually, that was right around the time my friend Arthur walked down the beach.”
Jewel found it hard to believe that people honestly thought she held such close-minded beliefs. “It’s hard to think that anybody earnestly thought it [that I was homophobic].”
Although she has received such negative feedback regarding the hit, she doesn’t regret writing it. “It’s just so funny to me. But for the most part, I think people really got it. I wrote it from a very personal standpoint.”
Jewel also shared a personal story. She recalled a time when she was hitchhiking as a teen in Alaska and was picked up by a man. He kept telling her how beautiful she was, while warning her of the dangers of hitchhiking. “He kept saying I was beautiful over and over, and I was getting really freaked out.”
She continued, “I had a knife in my boot and I pulled it out and I stuck it under his chin and said, ‘are you gonna fuck with me?’ And he laughed! And I realized the second he laughed that he was just the nicest gay guy on the planet earth, and we’ve been friends ever since. He lives with me in Texas now and he helps me take care of my baby. We call him the ‘manny.’ He’s amazing. He’s just a treasure in my life and I don’t know what I’d do without him.”