So the lovely lumberjackie_o
introduced me to Antony and the Johnson recently.
So I looked it up on YouTube, lined up about 5 songs and gave it a listen. I have to say that by the time this one came out I was near tears. I don’t remember the last time I was so moved by someone’s music. The man is just brilliant. I thought I was overreacting, but I read the comments to the videos and the comments on iTunes and it seems to be a pretty common response to his stuff. Check out his album "I am a bird now" for the track "Bird Girl" which is absolutely beautiful.
So I did a little digging and I have to say that his music has really made me think about something. Some of Antony’s lyrics have to do with transgender people and the search for identity and, if you see videos of live performances or read a little about him, you can see the subject is close to home.
A while back I was having brunch with some friends of mine and the subject of gay rights and transgender rights came up. The camp seemed to be divided as to whether it was right to include transgender issues with gay and lesbian issues or the issues were different or similar and such. I think that this music, as well as a little reading have brought me to form an opinion on the matter.
I think that, at the heart of the human condition, regardless of being gay, straight, lesbian or transgender, is the quest for personal identity. We all want to figure out who we are, why we are here and what our purpose is. I think I understand now that what we choose to do with that identity, in whatever permutation we desire, should not be something mandated or restricted by governments, religions or social codes. It doesn’t matter if you are a guy who wants to marry a guy or a guy who wants to be a girl and THEN marry a guy. You should be able to do whatever you desire with your identity.
Perhaps, the equality we aspire to achieve (and that every human being is entitled to have) is due to us because of our humanity and not the shape it happens to take.