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Published on Apr 14, 2013
14 people (including Michael and I) from across the US, Dawn Lowe, Melanie Shaw, Terry Christopher, Judith Rizzio, Jennifer Mortensen, Lori McMillan, Tom Edmondson, Kimberly Hooper, Patia Douglas, Mary Bryant, Rose High Bear, Laura Lee Harrison, sent me snippets of themselves lip-syncing parts of my recording of 'Don't laugh at me" written by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin. Most people I have met over the years, from High School, other gay singer/songwriters and some family, but there are a few that I have chit-chatted with over the social medias and had enough trust in me to become part of this project. I am very touched and oh so proud of this group of people, when I needed comments on a sneak preview they were there. When I decided to add the pictures of them as children, they flooded my email inbox. I owe you so much, my gratitude, my respect, my love and all of my pride for showing me there are people who care. I purchased a mechanical license for this song so I would be able to sell it digitally over the internet, but I decided to wait and make a video. In order to release this video I had to negotiate a price with the writers and the publishing company. Here is a little of what I wrote to Steve and Allen: ...What I am asking is how much money, royalties, payment would you like for releasing your song with a video. My intention is not to make a lot of money, I would like to give it free for download to anyone or any group that is working to save our youth from this horrendous bullying that is causing so many to see no other way out but to kill themselves. This is topic is very close to my heart, since I was one of those youth, fortunately I have survived and now as a 61 year old I am trying to find ways to give back. Your song really touched me when I first heard it and of course all that Peter Yarrow has done with it has moved me even more. You might say moved me into action of wanting to bring this song to my community, the GLBT Community, that so desperately needs the healing and support that your song can bring. And here is Steve's response: Hi Chris, Thanks for reaching out. I enjoyed your recording of "Don't Laugh At Me". I appreciate you using it to spread good will and healing for people victimized by others as far as ridicule and bullying. As long as you are letting people download the video for free, there is no need for any payment to release it. We donate the song for many usages as our main motive is to promote a kinder more accepting world. Thanks for helping that cause.... What more can I say...here's our video! with love and respect, Chris & Michael VonTanner