Thoughts towards a Trans Soundtrack for Generation X Trans Folk.
This one is just thoughts in movie form about music, the 80's, gender and me. none of it is very deep. it's just the start of a conversation. I will dig deeper in further weekly reports! I thought about narrating it, but didn't like how i was rushing it, the pace is better just reading the text, and is more what this film wanted to be. I'm just the vessel. Sometimes the vessel speaks, sometimes it just texts.
As a kid I was embarrassed but secretly over the moon about any song, movie or tv show that referenced trans-ness, in however vague or concrete. The movies were completely horrifying or campy generally, with trans characters being murderers or prostitutes or mentally ill, some combo thereof... in TV land it was more men in dresses kind of humour. Either way you had to scour visual media to find any ‘positive’ role models, I never found any save maybe The film ‘Outrageous.’ Look it up, it is a real document of the era.
music however, was different. somehow the gender/sex bending was less degrading. many folks can still decades later, only imagine androgyny as looking like David Bowie and other glam rockers of the day. Songs like Walk on the wildside, Candy Says, by Lou Reed, Lola, by the Kinks, jet boy jet girl by elton motello, homo sapien by pete shelley are the media from that era that still hold up for me as being transformative for me in terms of accessing the idea that i was not alone in the world with these ideas that seemed so wrong to everyone surrounding me. my nostalgia for these songs outweighs any problematic things folks may find with them these days.
I found the new wave/new romantic gender bending to be a bit less scary, but maybe not as exciting as that of 70’s glam rockers, however the 80’s new wave and post punk is really my formative era/genre and it coincides with the golden era of music videos, which you really cannot underestimate the influence of, on my generation. Generation X. I am proud to be of the only generation named after a punk band.
Things that made me feel less alone in my desire to be femme were seeing femme new wave and pop bands like Tears For Fears, The Bronski Beat, Culture Club, on Much Music, and so on. Adam frigging Ant. Adam and the frigging Ants!
My favourite song that i have rediscovered in the last year is the Jimmy Somerville/Marc Almond rendition of “I Feel Love’. the harmonies are life changing and breathtaking, sexy. when I listen to that song, I feel love.
That is all for today.