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Trans Identities: Gender Bending Meets the Music and Culture of New Orleans

March 11, 2013

New Orleans Gender Bending Rap

I am a product of the environment in which I was raised. I am a 504 Boi. New Orleans. The Big Easy. The city between the Lake and the River. If you have never been there or are unfamiliar, it is like NO OTHER CITY ON EARTH. While it is located in the south, it’s architecture is Haiti meets Rome meets Savannah meets your imagination. My cultural lens is different from others not from my hometown or places of similar culture. Our accents are not odd to us. Our nomenclature makes sense to us.

Extremely effeminate masculinity is nothing new to my city. As a matter of fact the term ‘sissy’ has been reclaimed and worn proudly by our ‘Queens’. Feminine masculinity is a staple which is probably why i view feminine masculinity differently than lots of my friends. Sissies are our hairdressers, our friends. Trans-identities are DEEPLY rooted into the very fiber of our city.

Historically, our music is deeply rooted in gender-bending. We have a plethora of DJs and musicians that are proud and out and accepted flaming queens. i.e. Sissy Shannon, Sissy Nobby, Big Freeda, Katie Red, Messy Mya, etc. Many of them also are regulars in shows like Treme. We are known for gay male/trans artists in our music. it’s rich and diverse and the norm. They are our friends, they are our family. They are validated and loved in our communities.

Beyonce’s j-setting dance moves are not her own. Her slick co-opting of our bounce beat is not her own (read: Get Me Bodied). Lil Wayne’s ‘Ball’ beat is not new.

Y’all know I PUT ON FOR MY CITY!!!

Check out this article done by the NY Times to help you see this, not from your own cultural lens, but from ours.

The Ignant Intellectual


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