Abstract

“TransAmericana” describes a contemporary sociomusical phenomenon of transgender and queerly gendered musicians who have chosen American roots genres including country and folk as their expressive material. This combination of gender and genre may seem unexpected. Roots functions through assertions of authenticity and sincerity, framing itself as a simple and historical music “of the people.” Meanwhile, biased views of transgender people assume deceit, while radical queer voices tend to be heard via genres linked to rebellion or camp. Yet several of these musicians have come to their gender and genre identifications simultaneously, describing a cogenerative relationship. My essay argues that assumptions of normative identity in Americana music make it an attractive and powerful musical space for transgender and queerly gendered artists to play with both the sociomusical identifications around Americana and expectations of “the transgender narrative.”

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-661X
Print ISSN
0028-6087
Pages
pp. 775-803
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-08
Open Access
No
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