Monday, February 9, 2009

Antony Interview

I loved Terry Gross's interview with Antony. As someone who's fascinated with questioning my suppositions, and withdrawing from society's psychological rules as much as possible in my own slow way, a trans-gender artist like Antony has a perspective I want to learn from.

I had a similar experience reading Esquire's "What It's Like" piece on Coral Hull, a writer with multiple personalities.

In Antony's case, he's been seeing things from an outsider's height since he was a child. But even now as a trans-gender adult, and in Hull's case as someone with many selves, they bring up questions of identity that go beyond the usual classifications of male/female, gay/straight. When asked by Gross to define trans-gender, and why sexual surgery isn't a part of his path, Antony is quick to stress that there is a level of cruelty and lack of subtlety involved in reducing people to their genitalia or sexuality. It's not a question of erotic orientation or physical makeup, but a difference of spirit. He feels that what sets him apart is a sensibility about life.

I also loved his answer when Gross asked him to describe how supportive his parents had been to him as a "different" child. He says that all of us emerge from childhood with a level of brokenness and our work is to look at what went right and what went wrong. This is a part of the human condition, not just his own story. He has a good relationship with them now, and that's what matters.

Gross also picked my two favorite cuts from his new album The Crying Light.

Antony and the Johnsons "Another World"

Antony and the Johnson "One Dove"

Listen to the interview.


Leonard said...

Wow. Some people are just meant to break the mold and challenge us to question how we perceive the world...and ourselves from that matter. Thanks for sharing.

Meg said...

The first time I listened to 'Another World', I cried. That has never happened to me before. I'm glad you posted the interview, so great.

Daniel said...

Yeah, some of his lyrics are off the hook. "I'll miss the wind, it's been kissing me so long."