I would like to take this post and talk about something I've been pondering lately. I make no secret about my love and devotion to heavy metal. However this overall genre of music is inherently masculine in almost every way. This is an interesting thought to me because here I am in the middle of a search to find out just who I am and at this point I feel that person is female in nature, yet I still listen, love, and on some levels even worship a form of music that is masculine in nature. Does this make sense to you at this point? I know I went, "Woah, wait a minute! I gotta sit and think about this and try to understand just what is going on here." And so this post.
Just by observation, heavy metal is a testosterone driven form of music. Especially the more extreme sub-genres like death metal and thrash, both of which are my most favorite. If you have ever been to a metal show or concert you know exactly what I mean. The majority of the fans are male. The energy radiating from the band and crowd is very primordial. Primitive male instincts and attitudes are commonplace. The music is often aggressive, harsh, or as I have heard some say, "it kicks you in the balls." The lyrical themes are often about being tough, death, violence, anger, or lashing out at society. Things I would say are typically associated with the male gender. These themes and musical vibe directly influence the "dances" of choice by metal fans across the globe. Headbanging and mosh pits.
Everything I just stated embodies most everything that I love about this music. So how the hell is it that I can love being around something so masculine and love participating in it actively and be transgender and have serious concerns that I am not really male on the inside? Right now I'm scratching my head. So I'm going to attempt to explain this.
First of all, even though the testosterone may be flowing through me when I'm "rocking out" or at a concert, I do not get a sense of feeling of being ultra masculine. In fact in that state I would say that I have no feeling of a specific gender at all. I do get lost in the music. I find myself headbanging to the music and I love mosh pits. However I view these acts as more a release of energy as opposed to some primitive male behavior. When I am in a mosh pit I just bounce around, run around, and slam off others in the pit. I come away smiling and feeling good because I had fun. I do not pick fights, I don't kick or punch. I hate when others do that.
The lyrical content. I love the lyrical content. I feel it fits the tone and vibe of the music. I love the lyrics that lash out against society. To me they make so much sense and I can relate to many of them. The anger influenced lyrics are typically responses to things in life that upset us or people that get on our nerves and so on. They are methods to vent, to blow off steam. (Much like my last post. lol) The lyrics about death or violence are things you would often find in horror films. I am not a very big fan of horror films as I find many of them gross and too over the top. With this in mind I will just typically pay more attention to the music itself and view the vocals as more of an ambient, aesthetic addition to the music. Although sometimes lyrics about death relate to thoughts of suicide and our own mortality as humans. In these cases I find the lyrics quite interesting and often times learning a great deal about this thing called life that we all live. As for the anti-religious or even satanic type lyrics, I do listen to them and I consider them part of the "lashing out at society" lyrical themes.
So far I feel I'm not bringing anything new or revolutionary to my thought process. Afterall I've been defending this music since I was 13. I guess there's just something in it that attracts me to it. It has nothing to do with the music being masculine in nature nor do I feel I am attracted to it because I was searching to be masculine because I did not know how. I love this music because I love it. It's like trying to explain why I love vanilla ice cream over chocolate ice cream. There is no reason why other that it just is that way.
If you really pull back the layers and look more deeply, sex and gender have nothing to do with the reasons as to why a person would love heavy metal. There are many, many female metalheads out there, and by no means would I or anybody else out there see them as masculine in any way. They just happen to love a music where the majority of the fan base is male. I think it would be this point, if any, that can at least somewhat explain how a transgender person such as myself can love a music that is perceived as a masculine form of music.