In tonight’s Vitamin Gay, I’ll be doing a feature on three transgendered musicians, two of whom I JUST found out about last night. I’ll be talking about fashion model Amanda Lepore, DJ JohnnyBoyXo and contemporary folk musician Alexander James Adams (who happens to be from the pacific northwest like me). There will be links to their respective pages so you can read more about them, download their music, watch their videos and share with your friends because these people are excellent!
*note- just please note that, like w/ANYONE in your life, just because you like their music/style/whatever, you may not always agree w/their personal opinions on shit…just keep that in mind, while I like & support these artists, just a disclaimer that they may say stuff on their own blog/fb/interviews etc I may not personally agree w/but that doesn’t mean I respect them any less as an artist and what they say does not necessarily reflect on my own opinions.
VITAMIN GAY- YOUR DAILY DOSE:
Starting out our line up of transgendered musician/performers is miss Amanda Lepore, the nightlife hostess, entertainer & model from Jersey. Apparently she discovered her trans identity at the young age of 11, and as she wasn’t allowed to attend school dressed as a girl (what a shock) she was home tutored. Unlike many of us she was lucky to discover herself at a young age and was also able, through various means (read her wiki or bio for more details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanda_lepore ) to sink a fair amount of money into her transformation having multiple surgeries including: breast implants, nose job & other facial alterations for added feminization, and even went so far as to have her bottom rib broken and pushed back (thats commitment).
She has been the face for such cosmetics as Heatherette and MAC and has modeled for numerous fashion labels, I find accomplishments like this particularly impressive considering the fact that she was born at the end of the 60’s and started modeling some time in the 90’s…the acceptance from the people who hired her, I find it inspiring.
She got into music around the beginning of 2000’s and has done work w/artists like Gay rapper Cazwell (an artist I intend to cover at a later date 😉 because I feel he’s note worthy), and has released a handful of singles (all available for listening on Lastfm.com) and I recommend looking her up on facebook, itunes and lastfm, she is FLAWLESS and talented. Below is her song ‘My Hair Looks Fierce’, as well as a link to her last fm bio and wiki article.
Next in our line up for tonights feature is an artist I literally stumbled upon last night while listening to (you guessed it) last FM, which I had tuned to search for music similar to that of ‘Kelly’ (Liam Kyle Sullivan, artist who did the infamous ‘Shoes’ song & video…another character I intend to feature here later) and JohnnyBoyXo came up w/Trannylicious…and what more can I say than, I am TOTALLY in love w/it.
I enjoy performers, musicians etc who push the gender line, or rather just totally blur it. JohnnyBoy, apparently considers themselves to be more of a gender bender than an actual transgendered individual though they identify as female. Details as to when they transitioned (or at the very least had top surgery) were nonforth coming so we’ll just focus on their music.
They come from a catholic school upbringing, so someone I can totally relate to on that level, having been raised catholic myself, and started singing in school choir at age 6. Their first video apparently targeted the fact that, shock of shocks, there was a lot of intolerance and hate at their school, and the school was far to tolerant of hatred, so they did a video that targeted the boys of their school. Their youtube channel gained the attention of celb. blogger Perez Hilton which got them the most views and made them an overnight internet sensation.
So discovered online & rocketed to recognition, I give you JohnnyBoyXo and I highly recommend you check out their youtube channel where they vlog (and they DO speak their mind, and if you don’t like it they’ll tell you where you can stick it) and post their music (which is also available for download via itunes). Enjoy.
And our final artist of the evening is the Heir to the Heatherlands, Alexander James Adams. This is a COMPLETE deviation from our musical style theme that I’m sure you’ve noticed between Amanda & Johnnyboy, both of whom are club artists, Alexander is a Celtic/Fantasy/Folk artist, who performs more on the fantasy/scifi con circuit. They gave their final performance as Heather Alexander, whom they’d been performing as for 25 years, at Orycon 2006, where upon they announced that Heather, the changeling, had been called back to the Faerieland and that soon a new heir would come to the Heatherlands, she walked through the door and was never seen again. They explained their transformation as follows on their website (I find this description particularly touching):
‘Heather, who was actually a changeling, was called back to faerieland in November 2006; at the same time, Alexander, the child in whose place she had originally been left and who had been raised in faerieland, was released after beating the faerie queen in a fiddling contest. Thus, Alec now carries on Heather’s musical legacy’
While I’m not the BIGGEST of their fans, I do enjoy some of their music and the way in which they handled their transition both as an individual and as an artist. Further more, they are one of the rare FtM performers out there in the public eye (most of the time when you hear about transgendered people/issues it is mostly centered around a focus on MtF transexuals, there aren’t a lot of FtMs in the public eye…the only other one I can bring to mind is Buck Angel, and he’s a porn star not a musician/performer), so I have a lot of respect for them.
If you enjoy faeries, celtic music & folk, you’ll really enjoy the music form the Heatherlands, be it by Alex or their former counter part Heather who has returned to the realm of the Fae, its beautiful work and revolves largely around their fiddling. Below is a link to a live recording of their song ‘He of the Sidhe’, and a link to their website, they’re an interesting individual and I encourage you to look into their work.
And thats tonights daily dose of VITAMIN GAY! hope you enjoyed it, thanks for reading…tomorrow: we’re gonna get deep and discuss the trans bashing that happened in Baltimore at the McD’s, and its aftermath…lets just say ‘McD…I’m not lovin it’ 😉