An Ipswich musician has produced a powerful cover that explores the dating scene in the local community.
Damien Johnson’s version covers Your Woman, by White Town, creating a fusion of electronica, indie-rock with elements of hip hop while remaining true to the flow of the original.
The music video went viral on social media with 127,000 views after its release in March and garnered support from the trans and gender diverse community right around Australia.
Mr Johnson said the video aims to highlight the humanity and vulnerability of transgender people, and to communicate that the desire for connection and love is universal.
“It also seeks to confront fears within cisgendered people about dating transgendered people, and demonstrate that it can be, and should be, a normal occurrence without any stigma attached to it,” he said.
“The video tells the story of a young transgender woman, Stevie Low, as she prepares to go on a date with a straight, cisgender male, me.”
“The idea came because I am out there dating and I had to ask myself, would I date someone who was transgendered?
“I think society is ready for these type of conversations now and the song brings awareness that many transgendered girls are not accepted by society as being a woman.”
Dispersed throughout the video are short quotes taken from real life stories of Australian transgender women on their experiences dating cisgender males.
Mr Johnson received a Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grant to produce the music video from Ipswich City Council which supports locally driven content and productions.
Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chair Councillor Andrew Fechner said the long-running RADF program gives Ipswich creatives the flexibility to shape their own arts, cultural and performance projects.
“The music video was produced locally using venues, staff and members of the trans and gender diverse community,” Cr Fechner said.
“Council is proud to be able to support projects that promote inclusion.
“We are a diverse community and Damien has created a collaborative experience that asks questions and gives the listener an opportunity to make a connection they may not have previously.”
Mr Johnson said the production of the music and the look of the music video came from an ‘Ipswich’ viewpoint.
“I am very passionate about Ipswich and proud to be from Ipswich,” he said.
“I wanted to say that we have a creative hub here and we may be a small city but we have progressive thinking here and we welcome and embrace diversity.
“That is why I wanted Ipswich to be seen in this video to connect the idea that if you are on the fringe, you can feel comfortable in Ipswich.”
Mr Johnson has just launched a new album Girl available here.
The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Ipswich City Council to support local arts and culture.
The third round of applications opens on 1 June 2021.