British singer-songwriter Will Young just released a powerful video for his new song, "Brave Man," which follows a young man facing the cruel world as naked as the day he was born. Except when he was born, the young man baring himself to strangers in the video wasn't assigned male.
Through the video, Young, an out gay man, sought to give visibility to transgender men, while also acknowledging that many trans folks are frustrated by people constantly telling them they are "brave" for being themselves. While the artist's understanding of the transgender experience as simply being born in the "wrong body" may be rather rudimentary, his intentions seem earnest and well-meaning.
As Young explained in an emotional post on Facebook:
It seems extremely brave to be a man in a woman's body and then decide to do something about this. As I thought more about it, I realised that there is often coverage of what it is to be a woman in a man’s body, but never to my knowledge the documenting of the opposite (almost a perverted kind of patriarchy). [...]
I know that transgender people do not like being called brave. It is something that is innate. Not a choice, but a given. Being a gay man I feel the same. I wasn't 'brave' to come out it was simply what I had to do. [...]
In this video we see a man determined to be himself in the face of all adversity from inside and outside. It isn't brave but, my god, it shows true grit and strength. What a wonderful thing. This video isn't about selling records or my personal benefit. This video is about taking a moment in time to explore a section of society who stand up for themselves. To tell a story and offer a window through music into someone's life.
Check out the video for "Brave Man" below: