Trans artists rising

In honor of Transgender Awareness Week (Nov. 13-19), here are some recommendations of transgender music artists.

Robin Doyscher, Senior Reporter

Transgender Awareness Week is a time for us to educate ourselves and celebrate the lives and contributions of transgender people, leading up to Nov. 20: Trans Remembrance Day. So, it would be best to celebrate the art from the T of the LGBTQ+ community by exploring some great musicians who identify themselves as transgender.


imbi the girl

The album “for me” features Australian artist imbi the girl alongside psychedelic artwork.

imbi the girl (styled as imbi) is a queer and nonbinary artist from Sydney, Australia who broke out into the music scene with the single “acidic” in June of 2017. Becoming a somewhat prolific feature artist, imbi is a wonderfully impactful writer and performer of hip-hop and R&B. Imbi’s style is this great contrasting yet complimenting mix of smooth, low-key instrumentals alongside brash and bold lyrics that always cut to the heart of the subject matter of songs. Imbi is clearly destined to find a niche among those who enjoy the lyrical stylings of artists like Noname, SZA and Little Simz. (Recommended songs: “acidic,” “swell,” “V.I.P.”)


Alex Newell

The album cover of Alex Newell’s song “Mama Told Me” features a photo of Newell as a young child with their mother.

There was a show that was somewhat popular in the late 2000s to mid 2010s, you may have heard of it: “Glee,” a musical comedy-drama series on Fox. Introduced in the show’s third season, Alex Newell played Wade “Unique” Adams, a male-to-female transgender performer who worked on accepting herself and growing confidence as a singer. Newell, who identifies as a gender nonconforming gay man, has also had quite the career after being on “Glee.” Newell makes very upbeat dance disco-pop music in the vein of Lady Gaga or Dua Lipa and is known for having a very powerful voice that can carry complex melodies. Newell has been creating and releasing music since 2010 and has quite an impressive catalog of singles and remix work. (Recommended songs: “Boy, You Can Keep It,” “Mama Told Me,” “Kill The Lights.”)


Dorian Electra

Dorian Electra’s “My Agenda” is a concept album about toxic masculinity and incels as seen through a queer lens.

Heading into the realm of PC-music, Houston-born Dorian Electra first made a name for themself by releasing music videos that included intersectional feminist activism and queer histories with Refinery29, an American multimedia entertainment company. Known for their flamboyant and immediately recognizable style, Electra has been a figurehead of the hyper pop movement alongside Charli XCX, 100 gecs and SOPHIE. Electra’s music videos are loaded with symbolism and psychedelic imagery that creates the feeling of watching an indie short-film with a crazy soundtrack. The amount of effort Electra puts into their costumes, production and outward appearance is so impressive it’s worth listening to them just for the spectacle of seeing a one-of-a-kind type of artist. In a sense, Electra is like the David Bowie of the transgender community. (Recommended songs: “Sorry Bro,” “I Love You,” “Gentleman,” “My Agenda.”)


As someone who loves music and is transitioning, it is very reassuring to know that the art of a valuable community I have the honor of being a part of is reaching more ears than ever before, especially in a landmark year for music in general.