Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Transgender-themed artists, bands, music, songs & anthems

Last week, I encountered quite a number of posts & tweets in which people shared their favorite transgender music artists and trans-themed songs. I later discovered that these posts were initially inspired by an article in Bustle that featured videos of trans anthems by trans artists (e.g., Laura Jane Grace, Namoli Brennet, and Mina Caputo) in response a recent trans-themed song by Kate Pierson. Subsequently, The Advocate published a post called 37 Alternative 'Trans Anthems' by Trans Musicians featuring additional trans-themed songs/music videos by trans artists - definitely check all those wonderful songs out!

Since I have recently returned to making music, and since many people who know me primarily as a trans author & activist are not aware that I started out as a musician/songwriter, I figured that I would take this opportunity to compile some of my own trans-themed anthems to share with the world. So here we go:

My current music project is a solo lo-fi indie-pop endeavor called *soft vowel sounds*. I recently released my first record, and it contains two trans-themed anthems:

The title track Ray is my take on/parody of The Kinks' song "Lola." The video is admittedly not especially video-ish, as I wanted to highlight the lyrics of the song:

The record also includes the song Open Letter, which I wrote shortly after I came out to my family as trans back in 2002. My previous band Bitesize used to regularly perform the song, although we never formally recorded it.

During 1997-2009, I was the guitarist, vocalist, and primary songwriter for the noise-pop indie-rock band Bitesize. We had a number of trans-themed songs & anthems - here are the ones that we recorded:

Understudy is my very favorite Bitesize song. It is about a transgender teenage thespian who gets to play the role of Ophelia in a Catholic boys school production of Hamlet.

Switch Hitter is an embellished story about how I first decided to change my sex at my little league’s all-star game.

Surprise Ending is about a trans woman who accidentally runs into the bully who picked on her as a child.

In the Know is a heavily-veiled recollection of the first time that I presented as female in public (way back in 1989). I discuss the story behind the song more here.

Finally, one of the first songs that I wrote for Bitesize was I Forgot My Mantra, a coy and flippant anthem that is mostly about me being a crossdresser (how I identified at the time). The chorus is the single line: "I'm a hermaphrodite, but that's beside the point." (For the record, I was not trying to claim an intersex identity with that line - I’m not sure I even knew what intersex was back then. I was just trying to express that I saw myself as harboring some combination of maleness/masculinity and femaleness/femininity within me.)

Anyway, happy listening! And if you like what you hear, you can sign up for my *soft vowel sounds* email list to stay posted about my future music and shows. . .

[note: If you appreciate my writing & music and want to see more of it, please check out my Patreon page]

1 comment:

  1. Been a cross dresser since 1952, but out only on FB and to my family since 2010. Whipping Girl got me to seriously consider HRT and confirm my feminism. Thanks!