7 Questions – The Musicians Series: Jenna F.
Musicians have a unique & powerful role in our culture, and one remarkably capable of transcending gender. They can share their truth from stages across the world, or whisper them into the ears of a single listener in need, as long as their work speaks in some way to those who would listen, no matter who, where or what they are. There are only a few openly trans musicians, but they are precious, and over the next few months we’ll be featuring their 7 Questions videos.
One of the many things I love about singer/songwriter Jenna F. and her story is the overcoming aspect. External obstacles are brutal, but often in an obvious way. Internal ones are the quiet killers, the insidious self-doubts that keep so many of us from claiming our space in the world. Jenna mentions one in her video: she loves synth pop, even though she didn’t feel like it was ‘cool’. Eventually she got over that and did what she wanted. That’s a simple act, but a subtly powerful one.
The overcoming I personally find compelling, however, is her voice. Jenna is a gorgeous woman, and happens to have what would be considered a feminine speaking voice. I have no doubt that she’s privileged with the choice of disclosing her trans status as she wishes. However, her singing voice is decidedly lower. In fact, it reminds me of Peter Murphy, one of the great singers of the last 20 years, and a personal favorite. In my conversations with Jenna, I apprehensively asked how she would feel if I made such a comparison. She admitted that it took her years to embrace the unique sound of her voice as a trans woman:
One day something clicked in me and I realized I had to stop judging myself as other people had judged me throughout life. I decided that my voice was my voice, and I should be thankful to have one I can use for singing…Long story short, I almost let my singing voice prevent me from making music at all, but when I finally let go and loved myself the way I am, that opened the door to true happiness.
I hope Jenna’s story and music inspire more of you to lift your voices, loudly and proudly. Whether you think it too high, too low, it is your voice, and deserves to be heard. Hear more of Jenna’s work on SoundCloud and check out her website here.
Music video for “A Song of the Sea (Across the World)”
Thank you participating Jenna!