EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: LGBTQ+ Christian Artist Grace Semler Baldrige
Grace Semler Baldrige, also known as Selmer, is a GLAAD Award nominee, queer, Christian singer/songwriter with a huge TikTok following. Their latest EP, Preacher’s Kid was on the #1 spot on the iTunes Christian Music Charts at the time of our interview and is still in the top 20. Other than music, Grace has a podcast and documentary series, so naturally, we had a lot to chat about.
STAGE RIGHT SECRETS: Congratulations on being the #1 spot on the iTunes Christian Music Charts! What’s the story behind your EP?
Grace Semler Baldrige: I wrote Preacher’s Kid in quarantine as I found myself processing religious trauma from my childhood. I had never really had time to work through some of my complicated feelings surrounding faith and being queer, but once I did the flood gates opened.
You identify as queer which is sadly and wrongly rather shunned by the Christian community, so what made you gravitate towards Christian music?
I grew up listening to Christian music. My Dad is an Episcopal priest so all the CDs he would bring home were Christian and all the media around the house was mostly faith-based. However, once I got old enough I recognized that there wasn’t a place for queer people in the industry. I think that’s wrong and Preacher’s Kid is a project about challenging that boundary.
What do you hope listeners take away from your music?
I hope listeners take away a different perspective and lived Christian experience. That there is room for a pluralism of theologies in the Christian genre, and also that it’s okay to have doubt and ask God questions.
Can we expect an LP on the horizon or maybe some more singles?
I’m working on a new single right now and my dream is to release a full-length studio LP.
What advice would you give to someone in the Christian community who is struggling with their sexuality?
It’s hard to offer advice without knowing the specifics of any given situation. But I would just extend words of support. I remember feeling really alone and like no one understood. So I would encourage someone that they are not alone, and that there are people out there who are going to love you and understand you.
Your documentary series State of Grace is amazing. Would you consider continuing it and are there any topics you wish you could discuss now?
I would love to continue State of Grace one day! There were a ton of topics we weren’t able to cover before production shutdown. I think it would be really interesting to look at the influence of Christian purity culture and religious skepticism around vaccines.
While stalking your Instagram page, I came across your STUNNING wedding photos. How did you meet your lovely wife?
Thank you! It sounds corny but my wedding really was the best day of my life. My Wife and I met in college, but we didn’t start dating until after she graduated. We’ve been dating ever since.
You are popular on TikTok, what makes for a good video in your opinion?
TikTok is such a wild west of content. You never know what the algorithm is gonna pick up and what will flop. But I have found that videos that have a strong storytelling component tend to do well. Even if it’s just sharing a morning routine or a recipe. People are more likely to stick around if you’re sharing a good story and letting people in a little bit. Also if you can dance that helps – sadly I can’t.