Jackie Shane – Any Other Way

U.S. born Jackie Shane lived in Canada and some like to think he is a relative of Little Richard. This song, a cover, became popular in Canada in 1962.

What’s political is Shane is seen to be using the word ‘gay’ in the lyrics for its sexual orientation connotation, and not simply as a synonym of ‘happy.’ This double meaning was not mainstream back then.

“Tell her that I’m happy/tell her that I’m gay”

The singer was a gay performer who often dressed in drag, and to many today, is seen as an early LGBT artist. Rumours are he is no longer alive, in hiding, or incognito, living her life today, as a transgender woman.

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Against Me! – True Trans Soul Rebel

Singer Tom Gabel said he was transgender, and is now known as Laura Jane Grace. This song is from the punk band’s sixth album, Transgender Dysphoria (2013). This is another term for what psychologists may refer to as gender identity disorder: believing/knowing one is born the wrong sex, basically.

When people identify with the interests, perspectives, values and beliefs of groups in society, this is sometimes called “identity politics.” A big part of identity politics is concern and advocacy for minority representation and rights.