Let's Come Together - We Can Change the World!
With the international release of their album, "Till the End of Time", Jason & deMarco became familiar names to music fans around the world. Their first single "Trying to Get to You" climbed the Billboard Charts and their second single, "This is Love" won "Music Video of the Year 2006" on MTV's LOGO. A remix of "This is Love" produced by DJ Scotty K was also added to Abercrombie & Fitch's playlist in April of 2007 and was heard nationally in stores.
Their autobiographical documentary-film, "We're All Angels," from director Robert Nunez, premiered on the SHOWTIME NETWORK where fans are invited to take a behind-the-scenes look at the public and private lives of these rising pop stars, who are gay, spiritual, and in a long-term committed relationship. The film chronicles the lives of the two singers as they perform all over the country in dance clubs, at pride events, and even in churches. The movie takes a look at how their openness about their sexuality often pits them against evangelical Christianity, while their faith at times meets with resistance from the gay community. "We're All Angels" turns the spotlight on how they integrate their sexuality and spirituality within their relationship and professional careers.
Jason & deMarco have had the opportunity to perform at numerous high profile events including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Awards in Los Angeles, the Matthew Shepard Foundation's annual gala in Denver, and the 2006 Human Rights Campaign Gala at the Waldorf Astoria New York." They have also been a part of the Human Rights Campaign star-studded benefit two-pack CD album celebrating marriage equality, "Love Rocks", alongside artists such as Christina Aguilera, Pink, and The Dixie Chicks.
Jason & deMarco will be celebrating 14 years together this summer. They were married in 2010 and in 2011 welcomed twin sons through surrogacy which is documented in Jason’s recently released book, “The Journey of Same-Sex Surrogacy” available on Amazon.com. In March of this past year the duo, along with their three-year old twin sons, Mason and Noah, moved to Franklin to their new home on a ranch they have named Gratidude Ranch.
Jason & deMarco announced the opening of their ranch and launch of their non-profit in Tennessee, (S.A.F.E.) Safe, Affirming, Family Environment. The duo founded S.A.F.E. in 2010 and opened a drop-in center for homeless LGBTQ youth, serving over 400 clients in less than eight months. “When reviewing the data, it was clear the majority of these youth were homeless due to aging out of the foster system”, says Jason. “In relocating to Nashville, rather than opening another drop-in center, we feel we can better serve our youth and the community by helping to prevent them from being homeless to begin with.”
“Our hope is that the ranch will be a place where foster youth and foster families can come to experience community, nature, working and playing with animals and one another”, says deMarco. They’re also presenting this opportunity to the public with www.mypetdonkey.com where families can choose to foster an animal on the ranch for a monthly donation. For every family that fosters an animal, a state licensed foster family is provided a free membership. The duo currently have seven miniature donkeys, two ponies, 5 chickens and despite deMarco’s wishes, Jason says goats are on their way. “It’s not about the money – it’s about providing a place for kids, youth and adults to come and connect with one another while being in nature and escaping the craziness of life if even for a day”, says deMarco. “We just want the ranch and the animals to be used to help people who may need a little extra love.”
“How two gay guys who have been the poster boys for an openly gay pop duo with a Christian background moved from Los Angeles and ended up on a ranch in Franklin, TN still amazes me”, says Jason with a smile.
Ultimately, the duo hope to work with the Department of Child Services (D.C.S.) to help connect affirming foster parents with LGBTQ foster youth, helping to provide D.C.S. with S.A.F.E. families who will be a positive placement for these LGBTQ youth.
In addition, the duo are looking (with sponsorship or grant money) to purchase property to place 10-20 manufactured homes or ‘tiny houses’ and launch a program called the “MOHO Program.” The model of the program will allow foster youth aging out of foster care an opportunity to purchase one of the homes while being provided with financing. “Our vision is that we’ll raise money to have S.A.F.E. cover the foster youth’s lot rent for the first year of owning the home, while they make their house payment only. The average house payment will be $250-$350 per month for a 60 month term. The lot rent will be about the same. After the first year, however, they will be responsible for both, lot rent and their house payment, for the next four years”, says Jason. Once their home is paid off in five years, they will only have to pay lot rent if they decide to stay. If they choose to sell the home, S.A.F.E. will purchase it back from them for what they’ve invested which will give them a nice down payment on their next purchase or help them on their way while allowing S.A.F.E. to resell the home to another foster youth aging out of care. “These foster youth aging out have the opportunity to own their own home within 5 years, which I think is groundbreaking”, says Jason. The homes are completely rehabbed and beautiful. These youth will have a community that they can be a part of, growing, learning and succeeding together. Regular events at the ranch will be provided for the young adults in this program and they will be invited to all of our holiday meals at the ranch, again providing them a sense of family and community. “There will be certain requirements for foster youth to qualify, primarily employment and transportation which we also hope to help them with”, says Jason.
We’re also looking at offering a few homes to LGBTQ seniors or senior allies who have the desire to be a part of our program, helping to monitor and oversee the park while also mentoring these young adults. On the flip side, we also believe these young adults can be of service to the seniors with daily activities that can sometimes be challenging.
Since launching S.A.F.E., the duo has raised more than $100,000 while also releasing a music video to their hit single entitled “Safe”, written by fellow gay artist, Josh Duffy. Through their music they’ve established a platform to share their vision and to continue raising much needed funds to make this dream a reality. They are currently running a $25,000 GoFundMe campaign to raise money to launch their transitional living program and foster youth camp this summer.
So, Jason & deMarco obviously are busy. But where does all of this leave the duo’s music? “We’re living in Music City”, says deMarco. “Although we’re not touring as often (Jason is a local real estate agent and deMarco is a Health and Wellness coach), we will always make music”. The duo released a Christmas CD this past Christmas called “Christmas Reflections” and will continue songwriting and releasing a single this year. Visit www.jasonanddemarco.com or www.safehouseforall.org for more info.