Hard Femme, Soft Butch

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With her brilliance and quick wit, BeBe Deluxe entertains people. But look beyond her beauty and electric blue hair, and you’ll find an educated and fierce being who inspires anyone who meets her. Deluxe’s presence and confidence are to be admired.

For years, Deluxe has been speaking for equal rights for the LGBTQ community, but now she is taking it to the next level through song. Her music is many things, liberating and controversial and speaks the truth.

Deluxe doesn’t have to demand attention. It comes naturally.  But what she is demanding now is respect for her and all trans women and trans men. Whether she’s speaking her truth or singing it, BeBe Deluxe makes people stop and listen.

While many pop stars struggle to have it all, BeBe Deluxe is overqualified, and she is coming—with a debut album, HARD FEMME, SOFT BUTCH, dropping this fall and a new video.

What inspired the album and how did you come up with the title?

I came up with HARD FEMME, SOFT BUTCH at a time in my transition where I was really trying to pinpoint who I am and not the projections of what other people think I am. I would say that my entire career, if not my entire life, I felt torn between these two contrasting divides. One was that I needed to be the thing I was assigned at birth. This very strong, take no shit from no one, take no prisoners, alpha man. And the other part when I started to discover my queerness, I was being pushed to be softer, palatable, an educator, someone who has to turn the other cheek and has to make themselves the most palatable version so they can survive. You do that enough times to where you realize it’s just not going to work out.

So HARD FEMME, SOFT BUTCH is announcing to the world, not just me, but anybody is allowed to be a contradiction. Anybody can be hard and feminine at the same time. Anyone can be soft and butch at the same time.

Tell us about the single “HARD FEMME.”

I often find that being a woman, cis or trans, you’re constantly expected to be everything. You have to be soft and dedicated and accommodating and palatable. But you also have to be strong and fierce and independent, and you need to be able to take care of yourself—while being hot and fuckable. And I just find that those kinds of pressures of femininity are always so present instead of giving any kind of grace for how difficult it actually is for being a woman in society. We’re put into an even tinier and tighter box, and if we don’t say things in the most palatable and sweet, harmonious way, then we are labeled a bitch. And I’m here to say it’s OK to be a bitch. I’ve been doing it a really long time, and I look good doing it.

What was your inspiration for the video and what do you want viewers to take from it?

My hope is that when people see the video, they will be able to look past how extreme it is upon first viewing and understand that all I’m doing is turning a crude mirror towards these conservative politicians who every single week have a new violent bit of legislation to restrict our medical rights, restrict our social rights, just try erase us entirely.

So I’ve created a video where we kidnap somebody out of the safety of their gender, we put a new gender onto them, we force them into a marriage they didn’t agree to, we force them into surgeries that aren’t right for them. And then inevitably when we are done, we kill them. And if you don’t like the message that I’m saying, maybe you should look within.

As a trans woman, what do you wish to accomplish when this album is released?

I think as a transwoman, my number one thing to accomplish is survival. But as a transwoman releasing this album in Jacksonville, Florida, I hope that people will hear it and enjoy themselves, see a little bit of themselves in it, see other people they know in it.

But most importantly understand that we are living, breathing people. Not all of us make pop albums, not all of us tell jokes, not all of us put on outfits. Some of us are just trying to live and exist and survive. And I think the most important thing that I want people to understand about trans people, is that we really do exist. We are not just buzzwords that you can use for click bait. We are not just something you can debate about with your friends. We are thriving, living, breathing tax paying people, who are really starting to get pissed off.

To watch more of our interview with BeBe Deluxe, scan the QR code

About Casey Alixandra