Back to October 2011 Show

October 2011

Travis Beck Photography

Ryan Cassata - Love Around the World (2011)

This is JD Doyle and welcome to Queer Music Heritage, and my Transgender Music Special. I've got three hours for you this month, and it's actually Part 2, as my September show also gave you three hours of interviews and music. To start off, you heard a bit of the song "Love Around the World" by Ryan Cassata, and I'm very pleased to bring you an interview with Ryan. Now there are a lot of things special about him. For one thing he's been a transgender activist on a national level since about the age of 15. Now, stop and think about that. When I was 15 I was so deep in the closet I didn't even know it. I just wanted not to be noticed.

But Ryan came out in a big way, on the Larry King Show, in July of 2009, and he followed that a few months later guesting on the Tyra Banks Show. As a transguy activist he's become a role model, with his YouTube videos, helping countless trans teens all over by giving them information, and more importantly, an example, by being someone they can see, someone they can relate to on their level. He couples that role with being a singer, songwriter, and musician who has done extensive touring and has released two albums that have included songs dealing with trans issues. Again, my guest is Long Island teenager, Ryan Cassata.

JD: Can you tell me your age, and when is your next birthday?

Ryan Otto Cassata: I am 17 years old and my next birthday is December 13th.

JD: I do not make a practice of asking that, but I am sure you are the youngest artist I have ever interviewed for my shows. Adjusting to being transgender must be terribly difficult for anyone, but for a teenager there must be so many more elements to it. With all that going on, why did you decide to go on national television with your story?

ROC: When I got the call from Larry King, which was my first TV experience, I was nervous about it, but I wanted to do it. I wasn't out to anyone in my school, besides a few close friends. I wasn't out to my extended family, only my mom, dad and brothers knew. When Larry King called I took it as a good opportunity to come out to everyone all at once. And by going on TV they know that it's real. I'm not questioning it or anything. You know, I'm 100% certain that I am transgender. You wouldn't go on TV and talk about something that you're not 100% sure of. So I went on Larry King and I also thought it was a good way to educate people. Also if someone's family was watching that was transgender, they saw me a transgender teen on a television show and their child is transgender and maybe they didn't understand before, now maybe they do understand.

JD: How did the Larry King Show know about you?

ROC: Prior to Larry King I was working with the gay center of Long Island, and I was volunteering for the Safe School Team, and the Safe School Team travels to schools speaking as a group to gay/straight alliances and diversity clubs about GLBT issues. So I was doing that, and after a while people were finding out about me, and then I did this anti-bullying project and they called the gay center and they were like, "we need a youth," and I went on that actually as a lesbian, before I came out as transgender, and I talked with this project, this anti-bullying project. The project never made it, but it was sent to producers, so the producer from Larry King saw it. And the producer that was involved with the anti-bullying project actually worked for Tyra Banks, so that's how I got on the Tyra Banks show, after Larry King.

JD: Being on those two shows, Larry King and Tyra Banks, how do you think you were treated on those shows?

ROC: I think on Larry King…I was interviewed by Dr. Drew, I think that I was treated fairly. My mom was on the show with me, and she hadn't really come to terms with my transition, so she was still calling me by my birth name and using female pronouns. Dr. Drew when talking to my mom referred to me as my birth name and used female pronouns. And when he was talking to me he referred to me as Ryan, with male pronouns, so it had to be like split down the middle and it was fair to both my mom and I. Cause if he used completely male pronouns and only said Ryan then he would only be kind to me, he wouldn't be kind to my mom. So it was really like a respect thing, and I thought that he handled it well, considering the situation that we were in. And then Tyra Banks, I don't think that I was treated well on that show at all. She asked a lot of inappropriate questions, especially questions that you shouldn't ask a minor, and questions that you shouldn't ask a transgender person in general. I was offended, and I was excited for the show to come on and air, but I was nervous about it because I was hoping that the offensive things were going to be cut out, which they were, most of them. I was interviewed by Tyra for five minutes and they cut out four minutes of my interview.

JD: Do have times when you wish you would have kept your journey out of the public eye?

ROC: I get a lot of letters and emails and I get asked a lot of questions and people come to me looking for advice, and sometimes it gets overwhelming. It never really gets annoying, but it gets overwhelming sometimes, you know, they build up and there's so many questions I have to answer. I think that being very out was a good move for me. I mean, it's helping people. There's people that saw me on Larry King, Tyra Banks, listen to my music, and I get messages all the time that say "if you never came out, I don't think I would be alive." Being very out has definitely impacted the people around me, and the people that have seen me on TV or heard my music.

JD: Could you talk about "Val's Song"

ROC: Yeah, "Val's Song" I wrote for a songwriting contest. My vocal teacher, her name is Val. She was in Italy and she posted a few posts on her Facebook wall, and then there's another one that said, "okay, I challenge you guys to write a song about my last Facebook post." It was like a 24-hour contest, a bunch of kids submitted, and I wrote my song in about ten minutes, and I handed it in and I won the contest. That was the first song I ever played harmonica on, and people really seemed to enjoy it.

JD: I love the harmonica part and in a way I think that's one of your more engaging songs.

Ryan Cassata - Val's Song (2011)

JD: You are a singer, songwriter, musician and transgender activist, and I presume you need to go to high do you juggle all that?

ROC: When I was in high school, I had a little bit of a rough time. I was bullied not so much but a little bit and I struggled with authority at my school, because I wanted to use the boys bathroom, and I wanted to be treated as male, and that was a little bit of a struggle for me. But my school actually came around and they…I taught them a lot, I won the Harvey Milk Memorial Award, and as far as going to school, and gigging all the time and writing music, that was a little bit hard. I missed a few days of the school year. And I had to make some tests up, I had to take some tests early, and my school's very supportive of my music.

JD: Did you graduate yet?

ROC: Yeah, I graduated this June and I graduated a year early.

JD: From your site it looked like tomorrow, august 20th, you are playing your 200th gig?

ROC: Yeah, actually, the show got moved and now the show's tonight.

JD: That's terrific. 200? And that's in a span of how long?

ROC: I've been playing live shows since I was 14.

JD: I really like that you make videos as a trans activist, and this is a unique platform for a teen transguy to talk to others in that situation. And I'm sure that's super rewarding.

ROC: Yeah, definitely. I guess that I was able to connect with a lot of transgender people, and also my friend and I host Transgender Meet-Ups, in New York City, and we're able to meet a lot of transgender people and educate them and play music, and do whatever trans people do, I guess.

JD: Is that like a social gathering?

ROC: Yeah, we meet in a park in New York City, and we do ice-breakers. We get to know each other. We talk about hormones. We go out for lunch, it's a very good time.

JD: I think it's very cool that you have music included in the soundtrack for a film. How did that happen?

ROC: This was right after I was on Larry King, I guess, two years ago. I got an email from the Director of the film "Loop Plane," saying that they had seen me on the Larry King Show, and they wanted me to try out for their film. So I went, woo, I might as well do it. I got the script and everything, and they wanted me to try out for the lead role. Now, I have never acted before. I showed up to the audition, and I didn't have a one sheet or a head shot, or anything. So I just brought my demo CD. And all the other kids had head shots and everything. And I tried out, they said I did great. It was going to be between me and this other kid to be the lead in the film. They ended up picking the other kid because of course he had more experience acting. They said, well, we want to have your music in the film; we listened to your demo and it's great. So I went into the studio. I professionally recorded "Sleeping Through" and "Distraction," and they put both of those songs in the film.

JD: Very cool. Could you talk about the song "Distraction"

ROC: Yeah, "Distraction," I wrote that when I was in 8th grade. That was one of the first songs that I ever wrote. In 8th grade I had my hair dyed all crazy colors. I had piercings. I dressed a little bit punk, and my school wasn't cool with it, the authority wasn't cool with it. They called me into the office a lot, to see what I was wearing, to see if it was okay. They told me I couldn't have my hair dyed this way, and I couldn't have the lip ring. And when I asked why they said because it was distracting the other students in the hallway. So I wrote "Distraction" about that, and then a few months later I actually performed it at the school talent show. And the staff came up to me afterwards and asked me, "did you write that song about us?" and I was like, yeah.

Ryan Cassata - Distraction (2010)
Ryan Cassata - Wonderful, Beautiful (2010)
Ryan Cassata - Wild Fire Woman (2011)

After the song "Distraction" I gave you an early song by Ryan, called "Wonderful, Beautiful," which was recorded when he was 13, and I followed it with "Wild Fire Woman," from his new CD.

JD: I want to ask a couple medical questions. Is there a minimum age requirement medically for when someone can have top surgery? Or to take T.

ROC: You can be any age but you need to have both of your parents' approval, and also some surgeons won't perform surgery on someone that's under 18.

JD: if you decide to go on T, are you concerned about its effect on your singing voice?

ROC: Yeah, I'm definitely concerned. That's the only reason I'm not on T (testosterone) right now. What a lot of people have told me, and what I've noticed, is since I sing masculine I don't…if you heard me sing you'd think a young boy, not a girl, cause I really don't sing feminine at all. Even my guitar teacher told me that it's like a bonus because my singing voice is like no one else's, because…I guess because that I am transgender.

JD: Well, this is kind of like a brave new world and there has been nothing really that has been actively studied about the voice changing.

ROC: Yeah, which is scary.

JD: Have been able to legally change your name.

ROC: Yup, my name's been legally changed since…I think for two years now, and that definitely helps a lot. I got it changed while I was still in high school. In high school not having my name changed was very, very difficult.

JD: Who are your musical influences?

ROC: I listen to a lot of classic rock. I like T-Rex, Led Zeppelin, Guns & Roses, the Doors, bands like that I get a lot of inspiration from.

JD: What trans artists do you particularly admire?

ROC: I really like Joe Stevens (of Coyote Grace), Storm Florez. Those are really the trans artists that I like.

JD: Have you met these folks?

ROC: I haven't met them yet, but I do keep in with them. They both, Storm and Joe, actually answered a lot of questions for me about testosterone, and they really did help me a lot in making my decision to go on T or
not go on T.

JD: Well, I've met them both. I adore Joe, his voice is just like honey to me.

ROC: Yeah, he's excellent.

JD: Of the songs that you have released on CD, about what percent are political?

ROC: I think most of the songs are political. The ones that aren't political are love songs, and some do have political undertones to them even if they aren't necessarily written to be political. Does that make sense?

JD: You mean they have meanings where you know what was inspiring you, but a listener might not.

ROC: Yeah, especially like the song I made a music video for, "Sleeping Through." That song I wrote about my dad not allowing me to change my name because I was under 18, and I say in the chorus, "what makes a free man unfree?" So that turned out to be a political song, even though it was really towards my parents, you know.

JD: And you wrote that, what, a couple years ago?

ROC: Yeah, two or three years ago.

JD: And now you've turned it into a video with kind of a different theme. Could you talk about that?

ROC: I thought of the video last September and I wanted to have something with transgender suicide and how inequality can lead to that, not having rights, parents not being on board. And I made that "Sleeping Through" video and it's just to show transgender suicide and really to wake people up. I mean, people watch the video all the way through don't know that's it about transgender suicide, and the last frame says 41% of transgender people in America have attempted suicide. Then people know, so right away they don't know that it's political but at the end they do.

Ryan Cassata - Sleeping Through (2010)

JD: What song has attracted the most attention?

ROC: I think…on iTunes I sold my songs "In the Business" and "In My Hands" the most. I think I sold "In the Business" the most because that song is the most pop, and it's the catchiest song on the CD. "In My Hands"…I wrote that about LGBT bullying, so I wrote a note on Facebook about that. I tagged a bunch of people. People were passing it around, and people were buying the song, so people knew what the song meant. And usually I play at shows, when I play with my band, I play "In My Hands" as the last song as my set list. You know, I explain why I wrote the song…I tell them I get letters from transgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual people, from all around the world, saying that they've been bullied. I get letters from teenagers that are suicidal and really this song I wrote for them, and I wrote it for the bully, as a wake-up call, for them to stop bullying, and to realize what they're doing to society.

Ryan Cassata - In My Hands (2011)

JD: Talk about the song "Going West"

ROC: "Going West" I wrote about being transgender, and really about the journey. The first verse talks about me wanting to go west, really, to California, to a liberal area, to San Francisco, and to get my surgery…my surgeon is in San Francisco…so I wrote the first verse about getting surgery, maybe going on T, living free. And then the chorus is about, you know, I'm alright, I'm doing just fine….and it's basically just I'm going on the journey, I'm not letting it take me down.

ROC: Then the second verse is about how it's hard to have a relationship when you're transgender. I had a girlfriend before I came out, into coming out. She didn't really accept it; it kind of ruined the relationship. So it was hard. The verse says, "I'm a changing man, I fell in love with a girl who won't love me back no more, she can't handle change, and I'm a changing man." So that was about transitioning and she couldn't handle the transition. And then the bridge is a hitchhiker theme, that I'm just hitchhiking out there with all that I have, just trying to go to freedom, and that it's going to be great, it's going to be good. And in the background of that it says "the end of this road is lonely." And sometimes you do feel like you're the only one that's going through this, and when I started transitioning that's how I felt. I didn't know any transgender people. It was hard to find people to talk to, and I did feel extremely lonely. And so that song really is like the whole journey of my transition. It's even foreshadowing what's going to happen.

Ryan Cassata - Going West (2011)

JD: It's a powerful song. I like that one. I also love that you have a slam poem on your latest album. I'm talking about "Trans Slam" and if you pardon the expression, you pack a lot into that one.

ROC: Definitely. I wrote that poem in December, last December, and I was really down in the dumps that I wasn't getting my surgery when I wanted to get it, and that my dad just didn't want me to get my surgery. He thought I was going to change back. And it was getting really tough. I just wanted to get my surgery. I wanted to be free. So I wrote that poem…I never showed it to my dad. Maybe I should have, maybe it would have made him understand more, but I never showed it to him. And then when the album came out, he was like, "what is this?" And he listened to it, and he got silent, and I think he kind of took it to heart. He was not very happy with the cursing, but I mean, honestly, I think the cursing was necessary. I think that it really showed the anger, the depression, and really how hard it is to be transgender, to go through this, to want surgery so badly but you can't get it, and you struggle until you do get it, and maybe you struggle after that.

JD: Do you parents try to have any creative influence on your CDs?

ROC: Ah, my dad will tell me what songs he likes and what songs he doesn't like. He didn't want me to have the poem on there. He even wants me to get rid of all the curses on the CD, which is I think two, and he wants it to be completely clean. I think my mom is really supportive of everything that I do and she trusts my judgment to what's going to be a good album, and what my fans are going to like.

JD: Have they been paying for the albums?

ROC: Yeah, my dad paid for my CD "The Theme of Humankind," and my mom paid for "Distraction," the EP.

JD: So it must be hard for them not to say, "well I paid for this, I don't want you to do that."

ROC: Yeah, I paid to press the CDs, to put it on iTunes and everything, so I'm paying to put out the CD and they're paying to make it.

JD: Well, they sound terrific.

ROC: Yeah, they are definitely very supportive.

Here's the poem "Trans Slam"

Ryan Cassata - Trans Slam (2011)

JD: I played you first on my OutRadio show back in May of 2010.

ROC: Yeah, that was the first time I was on any radio show.

JD: Oh, wow, I'm honored then.

ROC: Yeah, I was very excited. It was even in my college recommendations letter. The teachers in my school, they write letters to the colleges that you want to go to, about your accomplishments, so they wrote that I was on OutRadio.

JD: Wow.

From his latest album, here's "Waiting on the Sunrise."

Ryan Cassata - Waiting on the Sunrise (2011)

And you can find more about Ryan at Most of the music you've heard is from his EP called "Distraction" and his new CD called "The Theme of Humankind."

Time to close the first hour of my Transgender Music Special, but you know, there are two more to be found on my site, and that's at I always try to be very inclusive when I'm preparing a show like this, as I am conscious that to some my shows on Trans artists become a resource, a resource of who is out there doing music, and I want to make it easy for these artists to be found, because their messages are important to other transgender people, and to those struggling with trans issues. I get so psyched working on these shows that, well, I guess I am not surprised it turned into a two-month 6-hour special. But it's time to close this segment and I'm doing it with one more song by Ryan.

I was kind of surprised, and a bit amused, by his response when I asked him to tell me about the song "In the Business"

ROC: That one, I don't really share the story about.

JD: Well, could you…how do you introduce that song in a show?

ROC: I just say, "this is 'In the Business," and you know, people sing along, kind of a funny song.

Ryan Cassata - In the Business (2011)

Ricky Riot - The Only Queers in the Room (2010)

This is JD Doyle and welcome to Queer Music Heritage and Part 2 of my Transgender Music Special for this month, and I really like that opening song. It's called "The Only Queers in the Room," and is by Ricky Riot when he was in the band Twilight of the Idle. My goal for the rest of the show is to pack in as much music as possible by Transgender artists, so I want to go quickly to another topical song, this time by Elias Krell, from his 2010 album "Takin' My Take." It's called "She."

Elias Krell - She (2010)
Alex Davis - Come Back (2010)
Rae Spoon - We Can't Be Lovers with These Guns on Each Other (2010)

After Elias Krell you heard Alex Davis, doing "Come Back" from his 2010 EP "Man of the Year," and then Canadian artist Rae Spoon, also from 2010, from his seventh album "LoveIsAHunter" with the track "We Can't Be Lovers with These Guns on Each Other."

I'm going to build the beat with this next set, starting with Joshua Bastian Cole, and "I'll Be Different."

Joshua Bastian Cole - I'll Be Different (2010)
Mark Angelo Cummings - Enslaved (2010)
Raunchy Reckless & the Amazons - Manchest (2003)
Butch County - Butch County (2011)

Following Joshua Bastian Cole was Mark Angelo Cummings and the title track from his CD from last year, "Enslaved." And then from deep in the heart of Texas, Austin to be exact, were two songs with the lead sung by Katy Koonce. In 2003 Katy was in the mostly lesbian band Raunchy Reckless & the Amazons. Raunchy Reckless herself sang lead on most of the tracks, but Katy did the job on the song "Manchest." Then the brand new one was the song Butch County, by the band "Butch County," this time with Katy Koonce on lead throughout.

I'm going to take you through another transformation, this time with the artist StormMiguel Florez. In 1994 he, or then, she, fronted an all female rock band named Too F.I.N.E. Minds, and I want to give you a little of their song, "Sin."

Too F.I.N.E. Minds - Sin (1994)

When I was researching StormMiguel Florez for this show I stumbled upon a wonderful sort of production piece on him, about how transitioning affected his music. It aired on an Oakland public radio show called Snap Judgment, hosted by Glynn Washington. Now, I certainly do not make a practice of airing material from other shows, but I think it's excellent, and got their permission to include it in this show. They called it Storm the Bard.

StormMiguel Florez - Storm the Bard (2010)

And I'm going to take a break from the trans artists to play a song about a woman cross-dressing as a man, by a band which, I believe, has one lesbian member. The band is Bandit Queen. They are from the UK and from their 1994 CD "Hormone Hotel" was the interesting track "Miss Dandys."

Bandit Queen - Miss Dandys (1994)
Joshua Aiden Benscoter - Mother (2009)

I followed Bandit Queen with a St. Louis artist named Joshua Aiden Benscoter, and so far the only place you can find his music is on one of the Trans-Genre CD compilations, but I hope that changes soon.

Last month, as part of my feature on the film "Riot Acts," I played a track by Geo Wyeth. I really like this artist, and at the time of the film
he was going by the act name Novice Theory, but he's got lots of projects, and a new one, under his own name, is called "Alien Tapes," and from it he sings "I Am Chasing an Alien Light."

Geo Wyeth - I Am Chasing an Alien Light (2011)
Eli Conley & Hip for Squares - Pinocchio (2011)
Josh Klipp - All of Me (2011)

Thanks, Josh, and from the album "Josh Klipp & the Klipptones, Live at Enrico's," was the standard "All of Me." Josh has a whole album of jazz standards and I highly recommend it. In the middle of that set was Eli Conley and his band Hip for Squares, and the song "Pinocchio." That's from his brand new EP "All the Live Long Day."

Now I want to share with you a song clip from an Australian transman named Paige Elliot Phoenix, and he's just getting started. He's not released any recordings yet but this is from his appearance on that country's version of the TV show X-Factor, and he sings the INXS song "Never Tear Us Apart."

Paige Elliot Phoenix - Never Tear Us Apart (2011)

Here's one more, and it's a bit different, as is the whole album. UK artist Luis Drayton appropriately called the album "Pretty Sick," and it's kind of a cross between punk, grunge and performance art. This won't be everyone's taste as some is beyond explicit. Most of the tracks are originals but there are several interesting covers, like the Beatles song "I Saw Her Standing There."

Luis Drayton - I Saw Her Standing There (2011)

This is JD Doyle closing Part 2 of Queer Music Heritage, but please come back for the rest of the show, as there's lots more. Shutting down this part is the Athens Boys Choir, and how could you not love that as the name of an act. It started out as a duo but now the sole man in charge is Katz, and I love his brand of spoken word slam poetry. From the 2007 album "Jockstraps and Unicorns" are the tracks "Queers in Kentucky" and "Tranny Got Pack."

Athens Boys Choir - Queers in Kentucky (2007)
Athens Boys Choir - Tranny Got Pack (2007)

Amber Louise - My Daddy Is a Woman (1977)
Bob Rivers & Twisted Radio - I Want to Be a Woman (~2005)

Oh, my, now where else would you hear song likes that? Well, for the first one, from 1977, I guess they didn't bother much with being politically correct. I doubt that the singer's name is real, but it says Amber Louise was singing "My Daddy Is a Woman." The other track, obviously a comedy record, is from the folks at Bob Rivers & Twisted Radio. That one was of course called "I Want to Be a Woman."
And I'm JD Doyle, bringing you the final hour of my two-month Transgender Music Special. And I've got one more sort of comedy track to bring you on the subject, and then the rest of the show, I promise, will be music by actual Transgender artists. The one I want to slip in is only thirty seconds long.

Andrea Martin - I'm In Love With a Transvestite (1974)

That song was "I'm in Love With a Transvestite," and it was by the actress Andrea Martin, well known for her theatre, TV and Broadway appearances. A very early credit of hers was in the 1974 satirical musical "What's a Nice Country Like You Doing In a State Like This?" And that mini-song was one of the throwaway jokes in the show.

Now, as long as I'm digging into obscurities I'll bring you another. I've done a number of shows on the music of Transgender artists and have played this artist before, but I keep coming up with different incarnations of her. Her name is Lilly Rose and in 1978 she was in a sort of dance band in Denver named Jupiter Rey, and they recorded an album, logically called "The Jupiter Rey Band, with Lilly Rose." Also in 1978 she released a couple tracks going by the band name Lilly Rose & the Thorns. Well, a while ago one of my Facebook friends, Jim Qubig Saccoman, of the Phoenix band Sha-Pink contacted me saying he also was in a band with her. That band, from the early 80s was called Band W.O.W. and it had a more electronic sound, as you'll hear in the track "Contradictions."

Band W.O.W. - Contradictions (~1983)
Pepperspray - Tranny Takeover (2005)
Sexual Side Effects - I'm In Love With a Girl, But She Used To Be a Man (2004)

After Band W.O.W. I brought you the San Francisco band Pepperspray and "Tranny Takeover," from their only release, a self-titled EP from 2005. And then came a song that so far is only available as a single from the artist site, and I just love that track, by the Sexual Side Effects, called, as you heard, "I'm In Love With a Girl, But She Used To Be a Man."

Once upon a time there was a band of New York rockers called Life of Agony, led by Keith Caputo, who is now going by Keith Mina Caputo. Well, he's transitioned and in 2009 released an EP called "Cheat," with an interesting cover of the Antony & the Johnsons song "For Today I Am a Boy."

Keith Mina Caputo - For Today I Am a Boy (2009)
Chrisie Edkins - A Boy A Girl (2011)

That was Chrisie Edkins and "A Boy A Girl," from 2011 and up next, some hip hop, starting with Heidi Barton Stink, backed up by Soce the Elemental Wizard. Heidi sings about "Direct Action."

Heidi Barton Stink, with Soce - Direct Action (2010)
FoxxJazell - Boy, Girl, Whateva (2010)

Well, that last song, from the album of the same name, was called "Boy, Girl, Whateva," but I think I disagree with those last lyrics, saying FoxxJazell is the first hip-hop transgender. That song came out on a CD in 2010 and her debut CD was in 2008. Four years earlier hip hop artist Katastrophe released his first album, but maybe FoxxJazell was just talking about being the first MTF hip-hop transgender.

This next artist has a very colorful history and it just keeps evolving. All through the 1990's Justin Bond was one half of the celebrated duo Kiki and Herb, a very fractured cabaret act that people just adored. Justin played the female character Kiki DuRane. The act was nominated for a Tony Award and they played Carnegie Hall, and they developed almost a cult following. Justin went solo around 2008 and continued to create stage shows, and also appeared in John Cameron Mitchell's film "Shortbus." In 2009 came the EP "Pink Slip" and in 2011 the first full-length solo album, "Dendrophile," billed as Justin Vivian Bond. Here are tracks from both recordings.

Justin Vivian Bond - Diamonds and Rust (2011)
Justin Bond - May Queen (2009)
Veronica Klaus - You Let Me Down (2009)

Two by Justin Bond, and I played "Diamonds and Rust" from the CD "Dendrophile" and "May Queen" from the EP "Pink Slip." And then I slipped in a too short live track by one of my faves, Veronica Klaus, done at Joe's Pub in New York City in 2009.

Now, you may not think this next artist is a great singer, but she sure gets points for being earnest. In 2002 Carolyn Scarpelli wrote a musical, under the name of Miss Kookie. It contains such titles as "I'm Gonna Be a Lady Tonight," "I'm a Woman on the Inside, On the Outside I'm a Man," "I'm Shopping for the Woman In Me," and this one, the title track, "I Should Have Been Born a Girl."

Miss Kookie - I Should Have Been Born a Girl (2002)
Stacy Fair Tessler - The Weird Turn Pro (2005)

And that track came from another indie project, a various artists compilation from 2005 called "TG Music Society, Volume One." It's the first various artists CD I know of by Transgender artists, and so far there hasn't been a Volume Two. In fact it's pretty hard to find the first one. From it I picked Stacy Fair Tessler, singing "The Weird Turn Pro." Sadly, that artist died in 2007. And next is something a bit different. It's by LZ Love, from her album "Mysterious" from last year. It's called "This Is My Life."

LZ Love - This Is My Life (2010)
Mila Jam - This Is Love (2011)
Michelle Garcia - Trans Woman (2009)

I followed LZ Love and "This Is My Life" with Mila Jam and "This Is Love," which is just one of several very cool dance tracks she's released in the last year. And closing that set was a fun track called "Trans Woman," was by Michelle Garcia, from her 2009 album "San Francisco Queers." This is JD Doyle for Queer Music Heritage and I'm winding down Part 3 of my Transgender Music Special for October with one of our Transgender goddesses, Jayne County. From her 2007 CD "Jezebaal" here's another of her anthems, "We're the Transgeneration."

Jayne County - We're the Transgeneration (2007)