Brooke Eden is proof that representation matters and that being your authentic self is more important than anything else. For years, Eden hid who she was from the world, scared of what it might do to her career. Her fear and mental anguish transferred into physical pain which kept her from touring for quite some time. This time, though, allowed Eden to look within and decide that she’d no longer hide who she was. In this blog, Eden examines her past five years, how her new fiancée played a part in her becoming her most reclaiming her identity and and why she’ll continue to release music that is authentic to her life.
This new trilogy of songs is a part of me reclaiming my life, my identity, and my soul. At 26, my fiancée Hilary asked me a question that I had never in my 26 years asked myself. She said, “Honey, what would make YOU happy?” It’s embarrassing to admit that my life before that consisted of me asking myself what other people wanted of me, instead of what I wanted out of my one life.
Meeting Hilary completely turned my world upside down. Falling in the love with her was the easiest thing I’ve ever done and choosing to be in a relationship with her was the first thing I ever did that went against what I was “supposed to do.” It was the first time I let my heart lead the way and didn’t give a damn about pleasing anybody else. We had so much push back from the industry and my family at first… for about 3 years actually. It wasn’t easy. There were nights when Hil and I would just hold each other and sob because I was putting the love of my life back in the closet and hiding our love, and she was being told that she was ruining my career. We both lost weight because of the pressure to hide our relationship and I ended up getting very sick with ulcers. My doctor looked me in the eye and told me I needed to get off the road and take care of myself. I was fearful of taking time off, because I didn’t want to “fall behind,” but this time off the road was such a blessing in disguise. It allowed me to take the time I needed to really figure out my music – what I wanted it to sound and feel like, and what I wanted to say, with no pressure or deadlines, just pure art. Possibly even more important than that, it gave me the time I needed to emotionally and mentally learn to love and accept myself completely, without the pressure of the limelight. It was during this time off the road that I wrote “No Shade,” “Sunroof,” and “Got No Choice,” and I knew there was no way I could release these songs without being 100% authentic. This was my story, this was my heart, and this was my time to reclaim my identity and leave my footprint on this town.
Since coming out publicly a few months ago, my whole world has opened up. I just get to tell the truth and proudly be with the one that I love. We’ve received so much support and acceptance and it’s so beautiful to watch our genre become a more inclusive place. Nashville is a community– a family of love– and that doesn’t stop at your sexual orientation or the color of your skin anymore. It’s incredible watching eyes open and hearts change and I think this is just the beginning.
No shade, all love,