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In both her discussions and her approach to music, Adam likes to lump together the homosexual community (whatever that is) and other groups she calls "marginalized." Often called upon as a keynote speaker, including at the twentieth National Women's Music Festival in California a few days ago, Adam has helped raise scholarship money for disabled students and, for her most recent album, has penned a tune inspired by an ominous prophecy drawn from a tribe of indigenous Mexican Indians. Nothing queer about that. "I thought Sting achieved the perfect blend of consciousness and artistry when he wrote about the disappeared in South America," she says. "That's the challenge as a songwriter awake in this world, to never lose sight of the art. I understand that there's always going to be resistance to any art that's created by the marginalized, any art that encourages people to think. I understand I'm an outlaw, and that beautiful music can fly underneath the radar. But I feel blessed as a songwriter who comes from the pop tradition, because I know melody and I know chord progression, I know rhythm. It's just a matter of putting it all together."
Still, there's no separating the artist and the art. "I didn't come out for eleven years," she recalls, "because if I said I was a lesbian, a whole group of potential allies would never hear my music. I look forward to a time when it's no big deal. It's not real to say, 'You gay people are making a big deal.' People are getting beaten in the streets, so it is a big deal. This is about being afraid, and I didn't want to live like that."
Adam's first South Florida show in more than ten years will be a fundraiser for Victoria Sigler, a Dade County public defender running for county judge. A mutual friend approached Sigler and asked how she might help the election effort. Says Sigler: "I told her, like any judicial candidate, I need money. But I'm a little different from the norm. Judicial candidates usually send letters to lawyers asking for contributions, but I'm trying to get people involved, to run a grassroots campaign. She said she might be able to get Margie Adam to come down and play a fundraiser. I've been listening to her music eight or ten years and always really enjoyed it."
Sigler, whose interest in the bench arose from a family tragedy that brought home the meaning of victims' rights, surely must be concerned about associating her campaign with a known homosexual. "Doesn't bother me a bit," she quips. "I don't walk away from any segment of the community."
Margie Adam clearly feels the same. "Whether I'm identified as a lesbian or a woman artist, I'm still struggling in a kind of culture that misunderstands that any marginalized group can have a universal message. Black filmmakers struggled because their work was thought not to be translatable to big box office. That's like saying Helen Keller is translatable only to crippled people. Art is art."
Margie Adam performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the MiamiWay Theater, 12615 W Dixie Hwy, North Miami, 893-0005. Tickets range from $15 to $30.