Here is an update on a project I am working on, if you haven’t heard about it already. I met Bennett earlier this year and a sober youth conference in LA, and being very happy to find another transguy in the mix, we became friends. Not only is he also trans, but he is also a singer/songwriter! When we met he was 19 and trying to get his transition up and running, and struggling with his family and trying to find a way forward in life. He came up to Sacramento and lived in my attic for a few months over the summer and we made an album! The album “Real Boy vol. 1” conveniently gets his first album produced and also helps him fund his top surgery. Some folks also became interested in our story – the music, the mentorship, the journey to find one’s voice and place in the world – and have been filming a documentary about us, which should surface sometime in 2014. The funny thing about documentaries is that you don’t know how it’s going to end.. I guess we’ll find out!
Hanging with Ben has brought some amazing gifts to my life that I recognize now as irreplaceable. That my experience of transition could be of use to anyone else, especially in my particular case being a vocalist and looking at an irreversible voice change, has proved incredibly rewarding. We have worked together arranging his songs, I have been able to help him rework his songs into new keys, find the new “sweet spots” in his changing voice, produce and album and play supporting instruments.. It has been challenging and productive. At a time when I have been very caught up in my own head about my songwriting, it has been the perfect thing to refocus my attention on someone else’s music. Ben is also now enrolled in Community College in Santa Cruz, living in his first apartment with his buddy Dylan, and I can’t explain to you how it feels to see him get happy and healthy, enroll in college as a guy, and be able to take it on without all the distractions of unresolved dysphoria and self medication. I don’t do regrets, but I do wish I could have had all my wits about me while I was in college. I missed many opportunities because I just didn’t have it in me then. Being there for him is like being there for my younger self when there were few resources and very few transguys further along to look to. The friendship has been awesome, mutually so. The documentary will be interesting to watch retrospectively.
Here is the link to our Kickstarter, please chip in if you are able. We have 15 more days to raise the rest of the money!! Ben and I have done a benefit show in San Francisco, and we are doing on this Saturday in San Pedro! We are very excited for this show, his family and friends will all get to see him perform for the first time.
Please check out our work!! Hope all is well 🙂