Gender / lyricist Joanna Sternberg said, “A lot of people are probably facing their own gender struggles and no one else knows.” , It opens the door to feeling completely good and free and to accept yourself.
Like the world of film and TV, the music business is a clearly liberal-minded art that is still influenced by CIS / hetero people who have never had to think about their place in the gender spectrum. Sternberg’s upcoming new album, Then I try something more, At the same time reflecting the pain of being seen as “other” to most of the world and providing a source of strength and comfort for such strugglers.
Combining emotional nudity and expert craftsmanship, Sternberg, a native of New York City, wrote a song that invites comparisons between Starburg and the Boomer generation on West Coast Troubard. Carol King, Neil Young, Judy Seal, And soon Randy Newman. And with Connor OberstIts team created profit labels Then I try something more Sternberg’s first widely published record, they have the opportunity to bring the message of the search for tolerance to a wider ear.
Looking for excellence in song
Sternberg began to follow the path of the singer / lyricist seriously about six years ago. “I’ve always wanted to write songs,” they say, “but I never thought I could write correctly. But I listened.” Elliott Smith For the first time, and I wanted to write songs about my feelings because the impact his songs had on me was so dynamic. “
At the heart of everything Sternberg has is the underlying blues, a quality that creates the feeling of listening to an old soul. The songs are on Then I try something more Ultimately the blues singers were inspired by their ability to transform their inspiration into great music that brings people together. “That’s why I want to play music,” Sternberg said.
“Don’t You Ever,” a song that crosses the line between lamentation and reassurance, works with feelings of being out of place in a Sisgender society and more universal loneliness. “At that time [that I wrote it] I was actually looking at someone, ”Sternberg said,“ but I’ve felt more alone than I have in my whole life because this person wasn’t good to me. As we were getting together I said to this guy, ‘Hey, the way you know, I don’t identify as a woman or a man,’ and he said, ‘Oh yeah, that’s nice,’ but later when he dumped he was like me. Was, ‘I want to be with a woman.’ The whole relationship I felt was really judged for it. [That song] For everyone, because everyone feels lonely – but we are not alone, because we are all lonely. “
Someone who has felt gender-neutral since birth, what Sternberg’s entire Jewish life says tsuris (D) drawn from b). “You have something special about harassment,” they say. “I remember being beaten in middle school because they thought I was a boy – they thought I was weird. I think I’ve been raped all my life. If someone thinks I was a boy, growing up if someone thinks I’m a girl. I really got friends just when I was good at music. “
Increasing the size of the struggle
Following a career in music without taking on a traditional theatrical gender role comes with unique challenges. Some are just internal. “I’ve tried to write songs with people’s names,” Starburg said. I don’t want to isolate anyone. “
But most conflicts have external sources. “It’s a lot harder to try to be a classical or jazz musician [gender neutrality]”Apart from being a pianist, guitarist and lyricist, Sternberg is a talented upright player,” says Sternberg. I still play jazz. If I play music Irving Berlin Or Cole Porter Or even L Swarik Sannyasi… It’s from a time when people haven’t been moved too much or at all in public; It’s a different time, from a more homophobic. And the point is that in gigs, if you are a girl, you should wear a dress and makeup.
Sternberg explained that they have been rejected by bandleaders because they do not present themselves as sexual objects. “They see me, they have no use for me, they don’t want to have sex with me – so why am I there?” They say. “It’s really harsh, but I know it’s true.”
Although the world of the singer / lyricist is less clearly judicious, it is not without its gender issues. “The field of singer / songwriter is fun,” Starnerberg said, because people are actually the opposite. If a man wears feminine clothes, the man wants to make sure he is actually gay. Again no, they may have problems with you. Anne Diffranco, I remember when many of her lesbian fans went against her when she went with a man and had a baby. It’s kind of funny – like, he’s not allowed to do that? “
The process of bringing Then I try something more In a wide world through promos and performances this means that there is a large group of people to judge. Something basic can be difficult for people to accept the pronouns of their choice. Sternberg said, “There was an issue in my stereogram about my second single, and they gendered me appropriately – they said ‘they’ – but someone wrote in the comment, ‘Wait,’ they?” “What are you talking about?” It wasn’t fun to read, but I’m looking forward to it. “
Sternberg’s musician colleagues are not a source of support. “The good news is that I’m the only one in my band,” Sternberg said. “I’m just lonely, so I don’t have to deal with musicians; I think it’s harder than the public, playing with musicians who don’t accept you, who may not be so nice to you, which I’ve had a lot of experience. [getting it from] With whom I am singing. “
Consolation in legitimacy
In addition to writing songs that reach out to relatives, Sternberg wants to fight gender-based bigotry simply by making it public. “I think it’s great to talk about it,” they say, “because I think that’s the only way it’s ever going to get better.”
Sternberg notes that this is a promising and helpful sign that more celebrities are coming out as trans, but they are still concerned about the knowledge that those who are fighting for gender identity are afraid for their safety if they open their mouths about it. “I’m really attached to it, so I try to write songs with that idea,” they say.
Sternberg’s ultimate desire is to be as inclusive as possible, reaching out to any and all open ears and minds. “Even if I write a song and it’s about me, if I design it to connect with someone who is penis fluid … I also make sure it can be [speak to] Anyone needs it. Those who have gone through that struggle [have] Told me the songs really helped them. It just checked why I did it – that’s what my dream came true, I got that response. I don’t care what else happens. “
Album release party for Then I will try something more The glove July 12 in Brooklyn www.joannasternberg.com. *
– Jim Allen