At 37, Portland musician Logan Lynn is many things: a respected songwriter, mental health advocate, and LGBTQ icon. But at the young age of 14, Logan Lynn had more than a few problems, and had been using drugs and alcohol since he was 10. He was suffering from depression, and had even considered suicide. As a child reared in a house of God, Logan had one much bigger He was gay.
Logan (who, full disclosure, has contributed to the Mercury) was raised in tiny York, Nebraska, 100 miles west of Omaha. His father was a preacher in the Church of Christ, and his family attended services, well, religiously. His parents’ natural response to his sadness and substance issues was to send him to a Christian therapist, who wasn’t just ineffective, but highly inappropriate: Not only did he interrogate Logan about “who he was humping,” but he ultimately outed Logan to his parents.
As a depressed and drug-addicted teen, he was merely a problem child. But being gay meant he was a sinner, and when the brimstone and hellfire rhetoric of the Church of Christ couldn’t scare him straight, his parents sent him to Henderson, Tennessee, to live with another Christian family, and be separated from any drugs he was smoking or boys he may have been humping in York.
Logan’s parents were looking to set their son on the right path. But Christian society, with its rigid intolerance, was the problem itself. Drugs weren’t a permanent solution, but they did provide the numb escape Logan needed to cope with a world that didn’t understand nor help him. He found his poisons in Henderson as easily as he had found them in York. By the time he was sent back to his family—after his host mother found a bottle of vodka and a copy of OUT magazine in his bedroom—Logan had tried cocaine, crack, and would soon be getting into ecstasy.
There was one more stop for Logan on the road to Portland, and his destiny. In his sophomore year of high school, the Lynn family relocated to Kansas City, Missouri. It was at this point that he finally began to connect with the strongest drug of all—music. Unbeknownst to himself, by double dipping in both Lawrence County’s burgeoning emo/indie scene and Kansas City’s underground rave world in the mid-’90s, Logan was sowing the seeds from which his own musical career would sprout.
In 1996, Logan finally found his true friends, and his true calling. His family moved to Portland, and it was here that he met Elliott Smith and the Dandy Warhols’ Zia McCabe, and finally got around to using the Casio SK-1 keyboard he’d been holding onto since he was nine, releasing his debut LP, Glee, in 2000.
This year, Logan celebrates 20 years of living in Portland, and eight years of being sober, as well as the release of his newest LP, Adieu. The record is a smart mix of alt-country and indie electronica, with lyrics that may be dark, but are ultimately uplifting. It may have taken decades, but he has finally found his true voice, and is far from saying goodbye. With Adieu, Logan Lynn is really saying hello—to the world, to himself, and to the future.