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| Aug 25, 2008
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Georgie Jessup Georgie Jessup is becoming an artist who is hard to catagorize. She is of course known for her music, and her activisim. Now, she will soon be adding a documentary film about her life and career to her list of accomplishments.

Before getting into talking about the film, just a brief background. Georgie was first featured in this column back in August, 2005. She is originally from Jessup, Maryland, and began her music career while still in grade school, with piano lessons. She eventually added drums, trumpet, and guitar to the arsenal.

By the mid-1970s, Georgie formed her first band, called Jessup, after the town. By 1977, she moved out west and formed The Jessup Band. That group had some moderate success with a 45 rpm single Fall In Love For The Night, b/w Back To Baltimore.

After that band ended in 1980, Georgie moved back east. She formed a couple different bands, and also started dealing with her gender issues. The character and music that was to define Georgie Jessup began to emerge during the early part of the decade.

Georgie’s personal trans issues began to dovetail into her activism for Native American culture. These issues are not separate parts of her life, but have merged to form the core of who Georgie Jessup is as a person and a performer.

Georgie JessupHer album releases, all of which delve deeply into native American culture and trans issues, began with the 1994 release of American Holocaust. This was followed by Winkte & Crazy Sacred Dogs, and Red Cloud’s Room, in 2003; and Woman In A Man’s Suit in 2004. Her newest effort, Working Class Hero, was released last year.

There have also been plans to release a compilation of Georgie’s earlier work in one package. “The project is still in the planning stage,” Georgie said. “If I can figure out a way to reduce the number of songs and still give a good over-view, I will take that route.”

Another CD project in the planning stage is a re-issue of Red Cloud’s Room. The original release under that title is a collection of live and studio performances done acoustically. The plan for the re-issue project will be to give the tunes full studio production.

The new project is a 7 song EP called Working Class Hero. The title track is the John Lennon tune from his first solo album, 1970’s Plastic Ono Band.

“I’m still recovering from recording my Woman In A Man’s Suit CD,” Georgie said. “I recorded Working Class Hero last summer. My old bass player left for L.A. Before he left, we wanted to get some of the new stuff down and I also recorded some old songs with new arrangements and feels. Three of the songs — Working Class Hero; Petie’s Song (They Killed My Dog, Ma); and It Takes Nothing, can be heard at my page. I am selling (the CD) at shows and by mail only.”

Georgie with Cherokee RoseThe documentary project (working title, Woman In A Man’s Suit) came about when Georgie’s publicist Paul Steinmetz, met independent film maker Anthony Green. Green made a documentary about a doo-wop vocal group whose last CD had been produced by Steinmetz. Green’s next project was to be about spirituality in the GLB community, and it seemed natural to Steinmetz that the filmmaker inteview Georgie.

“There’s a completely different world that Georgie has gone through,” said Green. “When you overcome racial barriers, prejudice and phobias, and when you open up and look at stuff like that, it’s a very, very interesting story.

“When I heard the initial story about spirituality and the quest for finding oneself in a world that’s pretty much bogged down by social standards and so on…this is something that needs to be told; needs to be looked at and documented.”

For Paul Steinmentz, the behind-the-scenes work he does for Georgie is what matters most. “I always tell Georgie she can be an artist or she can be in the music business,” he said. “It’s her choice. I’m glad to see that Georgie has people that will recognize the talent that she is. She’s writing some incredibly good stuff and nobody’s paying attention to it, because of one issue that has nothing to do with is it a good song or not.”

It’s Green’s impression, actually his intention, to have the film change that. He describes the fim, which consists of interviews, live gig footage, and testimonials as a “…conversation between Georgie and the audience.”

Georgie onstage.“Georgie’s music is about the words,” Green went on to say. “The words are very important. This is going to be a very emotional film.”

It’s this emotional quality, coupled with the music, the activism, and the trans issue, that will help to make the documentary Woman In A Man’s Suit a lot more than just another GLBT/alternative lifestyle film, viewed only by film festival crowds.

“The really important thing that I want to get across is that we can say we are ‘women trapped in a man’s body’, but all this is, is how we feel about ourselves based on the wasicu* world view,” said Georgie. “The only thing we can say for certain is that we don’t know why we have this feeling.”

“So when Ronnie Redneck and Joe Str8 can’t figure us out, it should be no surprise. Gays can’t figure us out, lesbians can’t figure us out, and truth be told, the only thing we really know is that it is a mystery to us as well. Our journey should be to seek the gift in the burden and not the other way around.”

“When I sing, it sounds like a stereotypical male. That is the voice Creator gave me. I don’t try to sound all soft and femmy because I am now a legal woman. I simply trust Creator, and the gift, and sing! We need to claim our role as Balance Keepers and then the people can be healed and live in tune with the rest of creation again.”

(*Wasicu-roughly translated as white/Roman Christian Empire/Western civilization; literally meaning “fat takers”)

For more information on Georgie Jessup, and to order CDs, please visit her website.

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Category: Transgender Fun & Entertainment

Pam Degroff

About the Author ()

Pamela DeGroff been writing for TGForum since the start of 1999. Her humor column, The Pamela Principle, ran until 2005. She started the Perpetual Change music column in May of 1999, and in 2008, Angela Gardner came up with the idea for the Transvocalizers column and put Pam to work on that. Pamela was a regular contributor to Transgender Community News until that magazine's demise. While part of a support group in Nashville called The Tennessee Vals she began writing for their newsletter, and also wrote for several local GLBT alternative newspapers in Tennessee. Pamela is currently a staff reporter for a small town daily paper in Indiana, and is also a working musician.

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