So I’ve gone from writing about fighting Zionism & averting climate-catastrophe to now writing about trans musicians, yes for a weighty if very fucking sweary political commentator such as I’m this might appear totally eccentrically off the fucking wall & that I’m losing the plot, however never forget I’m a trans woman who cares a great deal about the plight of the trans community & obviously care in particular about trans sister friends of mine.
Laura Jane Grace is the name which most comes to mind when talking about trans musicians, but there are others such as Mina Caputo the lead singer of Life Of Agony (who I’m in fact listening to as I write this) & those of a certain age will of course remember Jayne County & those of us who really know their stuff will be aware of Venus Demars, oh then there’s my friend Tempest Crane who if you hadn’t guessed from the article’s title is the main subject matter of this article because not only is she a talented musician but she also has a special place in my heart when it comes to my own trans journey.
I won’t go into all the details as to how a mouthy South African political polemicist living a small town in the South East of England got to know a trans musician with full on rock & roll attitude living in Minneapolis in the Mid-West of the United States, other then then to say hey that’s the magic of the internet & its thanks to the magic of the internet which led to me crossing paths with Tempest as to why it is I now sit here as trans woman writing this. These days it’s common to hear so many in the trans community shout fuck the gender binary & being trans is about liberating one’s self from gender constraints, but back in 2008 this was far more unusual & Tempest was the first trans woman proudly advocating such radicalism, she was first trans woman I had encountered who thought trans wasn’t a blight or a curse but a gift of liberation & this was a serious breathe of fresh air to what I had previously experienced with other trans women, more importantly when I fessed up I knew full well I had gender dysphoria she spent almost 2 years encouraging me to come out & when I did eventually come out as trans in 2010 the first phone conversation we had subsequently I distinctly remember her saying well you’re going to be a lot happier now & hearing a serious sigh of breathe from her.
I credit Tempest as one of two trans women who did the most to encourage me to transition, but not only was Tempest correct about me being a great deal happier having come out as trans because overall my life over the past decade has been far happier now I’m far more at ease in my own skin, what is now mainstream thinking within the trans community is what Tempest was advocating over a decade ago, well anyways as a means of a very belated thanks for what Tempest did for me a decade ago I want to big her up for the talented musician she is.
I appreciate that Laura Jane Grace is out there in the spotlight of the mainstream media giving trans women positive representation with her band Against Me, but as somebody who is about as Punk Rock as you get as anybody who knows me can testify I find Against Me a bit tame & boring for a supposed Punk Rock band, Mina Caputo & life of agony have far more alt rock with edge & certainly have more Punk Rock swagger, if however your looking for a trans musician who looks full on rock & roll & is full on rock & roll then its my fellow trans sister Tempest as she oozes motherfucking rock & roll swagger with every molecule of her being.
Tempest when she first came out as trans had played bass along with fellow trans musician Jendeen Forberg on drums in Venus Demars’s band All The Pretty Horses, as I guess trans musicians involved in the Minneapolis’s music scene were going to be drawn together, however Tempest along with Jendeen has shone far more as the talented musician & showman in their own band Harsh Reality. Heavy Metal is not quite my thing other than with the odd crossover band with Punk such as Motorhead (which incidentally I & Tempest are both massive fans of), but from what I’ve seen of the live performances of Tempest’s band Harsh Reality, you’re going to get a live music experience you ain’t going to forget in a fucking hurry.
It’s not as if Tempest just got off the bus with a guitar & overnight expected to be a rock star, she’s put in hard fucking graft with hours upon hours of practice & live performances, touring with all the shitty food & shitty motels which come along with it, she deserves far more recognition then she has gotten. Okay plenty of talented musicians never make it to the big time & the same goes with writers (don’t I just fucking know it ha fucking ha), however I’d interject that Tempest lives in the United States of Donald Trump & we know how Trump’s America detests trans people.
I write this in thanks to what Tempest did for me a decade ago but also because I’ve never expressed I’ve loved her for who & what she is from the very beginning of having known her. Tempest has a had a pretty tough time of it lately & well it’s now my time to encourage her never to give up on her dreams for she is rock & rock, for she is beautiful.