Alex Blaze

Queer music Friday - Antony Hegarty

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 26, 2009 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Antony and the Johnsons, Antony Hegarty, Hercules & Love Affair, queer music

This British vocalist has quite a voice, and if you haven't heard him yet, you're in for quite a treat. Here's Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons singing "Fistful of Love":

More after the jump.

Antony identifies as transgender, prefers male pronouns, and prefers men. Here's a song he wrote and sang entitled "You are my sister":

While he's done plenty of pop ballads, he recently sang several tracks on Hercules & Love Affair's debut album. If he wanted a career as a disco diva, it'd be his. Here's "Blind":

And here is part of a particularly interesting column in the Guardian in which he discusses his clothes and looks:

I used to really love that Soft Cell song, Torch. It was one of the first records I ever bought and on the cover of the 12in there's a drawing of a drag queen without her wig on, smoking a cigarette. So when I got to New York, I thought, that's what I want to look like. I wore a black slip and combat boots, shaved my head and wore make-up. Sometimes I'd write 'fuck off' on my forehead. I was really into using my forehead as a billboard and I wrote that so nobody would mess with me.[...]

I've been going through a transformation lately. I think girls go through it more than boys, but all my life I've struggled to try to be attractive to men. I always felt like the whole reason I had a vision, or looked a certain way, was to be beautiful, so a man would like me. I carried that in my heart so badly when I was 15. I was so self-conscious of the way I looked, of my hair and my face. I was really anorexic, the opposite of what I am now, but I was like one of those girls who only eats half a yoghurt a day and thinks that will be the reason that some man loves her. It's delusional, but you have that until you realise the brokenness of it.[...]

I'm quite oversized now - well, voluptuous - so I make clothes for myself, or have friends make them for me. And I hate men's clothes. I mean, I like them on men, but they just look weird on me. I tend to go for more ambiguous, androgynous clothing. Plus, I like really specific, natural fabrics. Man-made fabrics make me feel a bit sick. I prefer comforting, tactile clothes in silks and nice cottons and different types of wool. I'm not a dressmaker, but I designed a one-off dress in aid of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. It's almost like a kimono wrap, really pretty, but it would never fit me. It's for a more petite person.

I'm 37 now, and as you get older, you revisit the issues that sit with you in the course of your life. I always felt so self-conscious, and I didn't let myself be beautiful for so many years, but by the time you've made your face worthy of being looked at by anyone, you've abandoned yourself in the process. You show up with a pretty face and an empty heart. Life's too short to be slaving around to other people's expectations. We should put on a little make-up to honour the specific dignity that we have within ourselves, but I'm never putting a spot of make-up on for a man again.


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Regan DuCasse | June 26, 2009 5:19 PM

I have found I love Antony's strange warbling and the songs are beautiful, even though there is a similarity to all of them.
I don't care.

"River of Sorrow" is one of my personal faves.

Oh, Antony!

I actually have a hard time listening to him because, for some reason, his amazing voice always makes me want to cry. A friend of mine burnt a copy of I am a Bird Now for me, and I still can't listen to it all the way through.

This is an exceptional voice, from an exceptional performer. Did you see him in the Leonard Cohen documentary - I think he sang "If It Be Your Will?" I mean, hell, Cohen gets me every time - and then Antony channeling Cohen? Rips me apart.

Thanks for this.