Francesca Royster talks Michael Jackson and gender fluidity

by Shaun Manning on January 17, 2013

Francesca Royster, author of the brand-new Press title Sounding Like a No-No: Queer Sounds and Eccentric Acts in the Post-Soul Era, recently penned a thoughtful essay on Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga and their influence on gender-nonconforming teens and adults. Writing in the Windy City Times, a free LGBT newspaper in Chicago, Royster wrote,

In the video for “Bad,” Jackson becomes a gender-bending leader of the b-boys in eyeliner and long flowing locks. (Jheri curls would never be the same.) His moves—whether poppin’ and lockin’ or jazz-inspired, are precise and ballet-graceful. His howl, something like Peter Pan’s after a night of smoking cigars, is rebellious and free.

She continued by examining the challenges faced by transgender and “gender-unreadable” youth, who may ” face harassment on the streets, in hospitals and police stations, and on their jobs.”

Entertainment, while not a solution in itself, can light the way forward, Royster said. “Music can become a place to reimagine what gender looks and sounds like, thanks to the Michael Jacksons, the Lady Gagas, the Andre 3000s, the Princes and the k.d. langs of the world. ”

Read the full article at Windy City Times.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: