The Ch(T)une we’re listening to on this Cheery Ch(T)uesday may not, at first glance, seem outwardly upbeat. What makes it “cheery” for me is the example that it embodies of an individual who is brave enough to be themselves and express it artistically. Individuals like this can stand as inspiration to anyone who is struggling with an issue of identity, orientation or preference that is outside of the mainstream.
Artist Formerly Known As...
That individual is ANOHNI. ANOHNI is the artist once known as Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons. Antony came to public prominence with the release of Antony and the Johnsons’ 2005 album,
I Am a Bird Now.
I was inspired to feature ANOHNI today after speaking with a young transgender person who had not heard of ANOHNI or Antony and the Johnsons. That young transgender woman is someone who draws strength from music, and I thought that this was an artist she might like to know about.
The track from I Am a Bird Now that I’ve chosen to share this Tuesday is For Today I Am a Boy. I’m not going to travel into the murky waters of suggesting what it’s about. I think it speaks for itself. Her voice is beautiful. The song is passionate, and here it is, from a 2006 BBC Live performance (apologies for the yellow subtitles):
That Was Then...
That was then, and this is now. Antony Hergarty was transgender. He used male pronouns. ANOHNI now uses female pronouns. In a recent Guardian Australia interview, she explained it this way, “‘She’ used to make my skin crawl. Within a gay context it can be used very snidely: to contain trans people and to denigrate other men. But working and socialising with women, and doing [campaign group] Future Feminism, empowered me in the feminine, and I could accept that it was OK to be the way I am. But I don’t feel emphatically female, it’s more subtle than that.”
ANOHNI released her debut solo album, Hopelessness, in May 2016.
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