With the rise of LGBT music and dance as well as the emergence of electronic music and pop culture, LGBT musicians are now able to speak up about their experiences.
In a new book, The Transgender Book of Records, which will be published in June, the authors describe how the movement to recognise gay musicians has gone from being a distant dream in the 1980s to becoming an accepted reality.
“There are very few LGBT artists who are heard by the general public in any way at all,” says Anna Näätänen, the author of the book.
“Most of the artists are gay or lesbian and this is a huge cultural shift in the past few decades.”
The authors are working with the Finnish music industry to collect the music industry’s response to the book and to make it available to the public.
“We’re hoping to create a repository of artists’ responses,” Näinen says.
“But there is no doubt that the music and the art are always going to be very personal, and we hope that our readers will take this journey with us.”
The transgender book of records focuses on a group of musicians who have contributed to electronic music in Finland since the 1980’s and include a diverse range of voices, including two artists who were featured in the upcoming Disney film Frozen.
The authors include artist Kari Rauti (known as Naja), who was born a man, and musician Mikko Häkkinen (also known as Jarkko), who is a lesbian.
The book is also full of stories of LGBT artists working on the side.
“There are many of us in the Finnish LGBT community who are now starting to feel part of the wider LGBT community,” says Rautin.
And that has been really rewarding.””
I’ve also been part of a couple of bands, one in the LGBT scene and one in another, which is really a form of artistic independence.
And that has been really rewarding.”
The book is published by Joora Press and is available for pre-order at Joorapress.com.
Read more: Transgender people in Finland – The book that changed my life