american musician

Capri Girl on a Rooftop
John Singer Sargent (American; 1856–1925)
Oil on canvas
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

Women that have made history (and their signs)

Aries: Billie Holiday (African American jazz musician)

Taurus: Sandra Day O’Connor (first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court)

Gemini: Chien Shiung Wu (Chinese American nuclear physicist that contributed to the Manhattan Project and is often recognized as the First Lady of Physics)

Cancer: Frida Kahlo (Mexican painter known for her powerful self-portraits and artwork)

Leo: Amelia Earhart (first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo)

Virgo: Mother Teresa (20th Century symbol of humanitarianism known for her charity work and dedication to the Catholic Church)

Libra: Eleanor Roosevelt (changed the role of the First Lady as an activist, politician, and diplomat)

Scorpio: Elizabeth Cady Stanton (early leader of the women’s rights movement and writer of the Declaration of Sentiments)

Sagittarius: Emily Dickinson (revolutionized the world of poetry with her unique and unconventional writing style)

Capricorn: Zora Neale Hurston (African American novelist and anthropologist that gained notoriety during the Harlem Renaissance)

Aquarius: Corazon Aquino (first female president not only in the Philippines but in all of Asia as well)

Pisces: Kate Sheppard (appears on New Zealand’s 10 dollar note as a result of being the country’s most famous suffragette)

Yo, a friend of mine made an amazing list about imortant and historical trans men!

A list of historical (and some recent) trans men since everyone likes to ignore the fact that we did in fact exist before Chaz Bono came out

(TW: transphobia, obviously, and r*pe)

• Hatshepsut (1479 - 1458 BC)
Hatshepsut was a female Egyptian
pharaoh, who went to great lengths to
present as a man, wearing male
clothing and a fake beard, took on
wives, and used both male and female
Though it cannot be definitively said
if Hatshepsut was a trans man or not,
a lot of the evidence points to that
being the case.

• Anonymous Man (16th century)
Henri Estienne wrote of a FTM man
who was burned alive for living as a
man, learning a trade, and taking a
wife. The man was outed by someone
who recognized him from their
hometown and when given the option
between death and living as a woman,
the man chose death.

• Jospeh Lobdell (1829 - 1912)
A frontier man and skilled marksman
who lived on the frontier with his wife
before being locked in an asylum for
insisting that he was a man.
Scholars used to label him as a lesbian
before it was revealed by his own
writings that he more likely was in fact
a trans man.

• Reed Erickson (1912 - 1992)
After inheriting his father’s fortune in
1962 and after transitioning in 1963,
Erickson launched the Erickson
Educational Foundation in 1964 and
through that laid the foundation for
several trans activism organizations
like the Harry Benjamin International
Gender Dysphoria Association,
Paul Walker’s Janus Information
Service, Sister Mary Elizabeth’s and
Jude Patton’s J2CP, and several
He was also an alternate health
practices supporter and funded
research on homeopathy and

• Billy Tipton (1914 - 1989)
An American jazz musician from 1936
to 1970, Tipton began presenting as
male full time in 1940, with only his
two cousins knowing his assigned
To avoid explaining his breasts and his
lack of package, he would tell women
that he had been in a serious car
accident that resulted in damaged
genitals and broken ribs that he had to
keep wrapped constantly.
No one knew he was trans until he
died and and it was revealed by the

• Dr. Alan L. Hart (1890 - 1962)
An American physician, radiologist,
TB researcher, writer and novelist.
Alan L. Hart was one of the first trans
men to have a hysterectomy and a
gonadectomy in the US and his
research on TB detection saved
thousands of lives.
He presented as a boy as a child and
was encouraged by his grandparents
and parents to do so, and was listed as
his grandparent’s grandson in their
obituaries. He’s was recorded as
always begging to cut his hair, wear
boy clothes, and would refer to himself
as a boy as a child.
He’s the first documented trans man
in the united states. His doctor who
helped with his transition described
him as “extremely intelligent and not
mentally ill, but afflicted with
a mysterious disorder for which I have
no explanation” and said that “from a
sociological and psychological
standpoint [Hart] is a man”.
Not only was he a man of medicine but
he was also a fiction writer, and such
a lot of his fiction writing reflected his
own experiences and feelings.

• Michael Dillon (1915 - 1962)
The first FTM person to have a
phalloplasty. He’s also believed to be
the first FTM person to undergo hrt.
While in the hospital with a head injury
he met a plastic surgeon who gave
him a double mastectomy and a note
to help get his birth certificate
Dillon performed SRS on Roberta
Cowell, the first British trans woman to
receive SRS, but because Dillon had
not completed his medical training the
surgery was considered illegal.
Later on he ended up devoting the
rest of his life to Buddhism in India.

• “Little Axe” Broadnax (1916 - 1992)
Little Axe was an American gospel
singer. I couldn’t find much on his
personal life, but he was apart of
several gospel groups between the
1940’s and 1980’s.
He was not discovered to be trans
until his death in 1992.

• Lou Sullivan (1951 - 1991)
An American author and activist, and
also one of the first trans men to
publicly identify as gay. He’s heavily
credited to the modern understanding
of gender identity and sexuality being
different things.
As a child, he would write in his journal
about being confused about his
identity, and expressed his ideas of
wishing he were a man and wanting to
be a gay man there from a young age.
He moved away from Milwaukee in
1975 to San Francisco so he could
have easier access to not only hrt but
a more understanding community. His
family was supportive of this move and
gave him a man’s suit and his
grandfather’s pocket watch as going
away presents.
In San Francisco, he lived openly as
a gay trans man but was denied SRS
constantly because of his sexuality,
since at the time trans people were
expected to adhere to a more
heterosexual lifestyle. He finally had
SRS in 1986.
He was diagnosed as HIV positive in
the same year, and said afterwards:
“I took a certain pleasure in informing
the gender clinic that even though
their program told me I could not live
as a Gay man, it looks like I’m going to
die like one.”
As an adult he was active in the
Gateway Gender Alliance, which was
one of the first educational
organizations that offered support for
FTM people. He was an editor for The
a newsletter with “news
and information on transvestism and
transsexualism” that originally primarily
focused on MTF issues, but started to
also talk about FTM issues under his
He was a founding member of the
GLBT Historical Society in San
Francisco, he founded FTM
International - an organization
specifically for trans men - and was a
huge advocate for gay trans men, and
gay trans people in general.
He ended up passing due to HIV
related complications.

• Brandon Teena (1972 - 1993)
TW: r*pe, assault/violence, murder

Brandon Teena was raped and
murdered at age 21 for being trans.
He asserted that he was male from a
young age and began identifying as
a man during adolescence. He would
constantly reject school dress code by
dressing masculinely.
When he was 18 he tried to join the US
army but failed to enter after listing his
sex as male.
In 1993 he began living as a man full
time and associating with John L.
Lotter, Tom Nissen, and Lana Tisdel.
During a Christmas Eve party, Nissen
and Lotter forced Brandon to pull
down his pants revealing that he was
trans. They forced him into a car, drove
to a nearby meat packing plant, and
raped him. They then took him to
Nissen’s house, where they told
Brandon to shower, allowing him to
escape out the bathroom window and
to Tinsel’s house.
They went to the ER where while
Brandon was having a rape kit done,
he was asked invasive, rude, and
unnecessary questions about him
being trans so they left.
When Nissen and Lotter found out
about the police report and rape kit
they started a hunt for Brandon, and
eventually found him on December
31st when they shot and killed him and
the two other people in the house
where he was staying. Brandon was
also stabbed in the chest to ensure he
was dead.
He’s had two movies made on his life
a documentary called The Brandon
Teena Story
and movie called Boys
Don’t Cry.

Some more recent trans men include:

• Thomas Beatie - in 2007 was the first
trans man to become pregnant
through artificial insemination after
finding out his wife was infertile.

• Balian Buschbaum - a former German
pole-vaulting champion. He competed
during the early 2000s and retired in
2007 to transition

• Chaz Bono - son of Sonny and Cher,
he is a writer, musician, and activist

• Ian Harvie - a comedian and actor, he
was in Transparent and Roadtrip

• Buck Angel - a former adult film star
and producer, and is now a trans
activist, writer, and speaker

There are obviously many, many other well known current trans guys out there, but those are just some ✌️

The history of trans guys is often overlooked and/or forgotten, so hopefully you learned something from this

I don’t think a lot of people understand the effort that goes into songwriting. There’s lyricism, putting those lyrics to a melody, putting that melody in a score, giving that score extra sound effects and beats at just the right moment for the effect you want, and all of those processes are time consuming and emotionally draining. You’ll spend hours combing through hundreds of songs you’ve written trashing 90% of your work just in the lyrical phase even if it’s good bc it’s not good enough and you’ll spend days making sure that melody is catchy but not annoying, conveys the emotions you’re trying to express, if you plan on singing it yourself you’ll make sure it’s in your range and compliments your voice, is it unique enough without being weird? Is it strong? Should it be strong? Could it be better? How can you make it better? Is this the best it can be or should I spend a couple more days working on it? And after that you have to write accompaniment. What instrument should you put it on? Can you add more instruments? Do you know anyone who can play some of these instruments while you perform/record/whatever you’re doing with it bc you can only play one thing at a time. What chords go with the melody? How can you make those chords more interesting to listen to? Is this really the best I can do? Could it use backup vocals? Who would back me up? Is that too much? Does it still convey the emotion you were going for? There’s a ton to think about. It’s an incredibly time consuming process and sometimes after going through all of it you still end up scrapping it. You don’t even know if any of your work will be seen. Ever. You then work insanely hard to find someone to record it for you (or save up money for your own equipment and find yourself a room and fix up that room to suit your needs, which also costs time and money) and hope and pray people like it if you ever get it out into the public eye. Bc after all the work you went through you still can’t make people listen you still can’t make people like it. Songwriters deserve more respect than being written off as lazy, privileged people who get payed way more than they deserve.


Black History Day 3: Cab Calloway.

Cab Calloway was groundbreaking as one of the first African-American musicians to be prominently featured on film. His work with the “Betty Boop” cartoons (as seen above) was legendary because it was basically the grandfather of what we know now as motion capture animation. They recorded Cab singing and dancing (dancing which included an early version of the moonwalk so take that Michael Jackson) and they TRACED HIS MOVEMENTS FRAME BY FRAME to translate them into the character he was playing. None of that unitard covered in ping-pong balls mess. Painstaking frame by frame tracing to capture his motions. You can watch full length versions of the Betty Boop cartoons featuring Cab Calloway pretty easily. I think they’re all on YouTube and they’re in the public domain so they’re easy to find and download. The names of the cartoon shorts are “Minnie the Moocher”, “Snow White ”, and “The Old Man of the Mountain”.
So go watch them now and appreciate a hard-working black musician who pioneered the jazz genre and was a key player in animation advancement.