Home Indie Music “Our Promised Land”: A Satisfaction Month Essay by Mya Byrne

“Our Promised Land”: A Satisfaction Month Essay by Mya Byrne

“Our Promised Land”: A Satisfaction Month Essay by Mya Byrne


In honor of Satisfaction Month, Atwood Journal has invited artists to take part in a collection of essays reflecting on id, music, tradition, inclusion, and extra.
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In the present day, Brooklyn-based trans roots artist Mya Byrne shares her essay, “Our Promised Land,” concerning the energy of popping out – each to your self, and the world – as part of Atwood Journal’s Satisfaction Month collection!
As an out and proud queer trans girl taking part in Americana and nation music, Mya is a vital voice on the forefront of a motion propelled by a a lot wanted burst of recent air. She’s additionally an unbelievable folks storyteller and she or he completely shreds on guitar. Her not too long ago launched sophomore album ‘Rhinestone Tomboy’ (April 28 by way of Kill Rock Stars Nashville) is a 12-song journey into redemption and a masterclass at world constructing.
Mya is precisely the type of outsider the muse of this style was constructed upon, and as NPR Music not too long ago stated, she is “rising because the warrior this disaster requires.”
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by Mya Byrne

As a songwriter and a Jewish queer trans girl, I’ve discovered myself persistently drawn to the idea of “Mitzrayim,” the Hebrew title for the biblical Egypt of bondage, “the slim place.” I consider all of the slim locations we as queer and trans folks have needed to stroll by way of.

We discuss of Satisfaction and we discuss of change, of historical past, of revolution. In June 1969, our queer and trans kin got here from the narrowness of mafia-owned bars the place they might solely be queer behind closed doorways right into a world the place queer folks had been seen. So, after I started to put in writing my Satisfaction tune “The place the Lavender Grows”, I considered this as I penned the opening line, “I used to be advised freedom comes/from going by way of the narrowest place.” The tune imagines a secure area for us to return to when the exhausting journey is finished, the promised land after diaspora the place all is abundance, the place we will be free. A few of us take longer to get there than others, but when we undergo, we discover the enjoyment and charm we name Satisfaction.

Mya Byrne © Tui Jordan
Mya Byrne © Tui Jordan

This Satisfaction marks 11 years since I got here out to myself, alone in my late aunt’s New York condominium.

A beam of daylight hit my eyes and I instantly noticed myself on stage, as I’m now, transitioned and smiling. I dropped to my knees sobbing to God, “I perceive.” I knew in that second that I have to transition, that I have to come out, that I have to assist different trans girls to do the identical by way of being out in music.

Later, I puzzled what my title ought to be, and on some whisper floating by way of the kitchen I heard the title, “Adriene”, now my center title. I later discovered that my aunt’s condominium constructing was a secure home for trans intercourse staff within the mid-’70s.

Maybe you, too, have heard a voice calling to you. Calling you a reputation acquainted, in a whisper that seems like coming house. Hear.

After we settle for ourselves, we’re liberated. After we exhibit that liberation for different folks, they see the trail to their very own. Our properties and our hearts should be open, not simply to these escaping injustice elsewhere however for our personal youngsters and for ourselves. As queer artists, now we have a duty to our followers and to ourselves to maintain loving and residing and making a world we will reside in. We should be out.

Lately, a pricey good friend of mine occurred to be at my house when she took hormones for the primary time. My accomplice and I hugged her, stated a prayer. Two days later she got here out to her dad and mom—who embraced her. She later advised me how a lot my instance helped her discover the power to take action. She’s not the primary particular person to say these phrases to me, and it’s humbling to be able to assist others just by being myself on and off stage.

Mya Byrne © Niki Pretti
Mya Byrne © Niki Pretti

I hope for all of these struggling to shatter their closet partitions to seek out this grace.

And I problem these of you who’re nonetheless “within the closet professionally” to return out, proper now. Really feel what I really feel when younger folks inform me I helped them really feel secure to affirm themselves just because I used to be there, out, alive, taking part in music. You’re price it.

To undergo the slim place, you need to make a selection. Not of being trans or queer – that’s innate. It’s to return out, to reside, to affirm your reality. I selected life, as a result of I lastly had a secure place to take action and a world ready for me after 25 years of not. There have been exhausting occasions and damage since, however largely a lightweight that finds me at any time when I’m in these exhausting moments. I can’t fairly describe it, however it retains me going. Perhaps it’s God. Perhaps it’s the ancestors talking.

However maybe, as Lennon and McCartney wrote, the phrase is love. And inside that mild, that love, is your individual promised land. – Mya Byrne

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