Friday, December 4, 2009

Riot Acts: Flaunting Gender Deviance in Music Performance

Yesterday, I saw an amazing documentary called Riot Acts: Flaunting Gender Deviance in Music Performance. It's a documentary about trans and gender deviant musicians across North America and the intersections between gender performance and stage performance. In other words, gender deviant and trans musicians talking about making music.

The movie focused on the experiences and issues that these musicians have when on stage. One of the film makers said that this movie was letting trans musicians tell the audience about themselves. The goal of the documentary was to go against the grain of many trans-focused movies and show how being trans is awesome.

My favorite part of the documentary was focusing on how voice changed during transition and how vocals played into gender performance. A lot of musicians in the movie said that they were afraid to transition because of how drastically their range would change. Others said that learning a new way of singing was not so difficult while some musicians said that they didn't feel like they should change their voices at all and that transition had no effect.

You can actually see the documentary tonight at 7 PM for $10 at the Creative Alliance on 3134 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21224. There will be food, performances by Jessica Xavier and The Degenerettes, and a Q+A after the movie.

The soundtrack alone is enough reason to check it out. Here are some videos from bands I really liked from the movie:

Novice Theory from New York, NY

The Degenerettes from Baltimore, MD

Systyr Act from Boston, MA

Coyote Grace from Sonoma County

The Shondes from New York, NY

For a full list of musicians, you can check out the Actor Slash Model website.

Image courtesy of

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Cool post! See also: sexism and transphobia nearly derailed a classical pianist's career: