Staying true to their optimism-in-the-face-of-adversity name, Boston-bred indie rock group Happy Little Clouds gives us a fresh take on the struggle to accept one's true gender identity with their new video, "Beneath." The video begins in a dark landscape punctuated by abandoned and dilapidated pools. The sky is gray. The mood is bleak and lonely.
Lead singer and band founder Jac Mestel -- whose identity is in flux, recently shifting from genderqueer to trans, and from using feminine to gender-neutral pronouns -- is seen in the music video receiving disapproving sneers for their masculine attire. Eventually, Mestel's character caves to pressure, donning a red dress and heels in a desperate attempt to fit in. But their "inner child" appears and guides them through the woods (and a life-changing haircut) to a brighter future with love, support, friendship, and most importantly, self-acceptance.
"We are super proud of this video," Mestel tells The Advocate, "and the potential it has to help people struggling to find their own inner truths, both inside and outside the LGBTQIA community."
In addition to Mestel, Happy Little Clouds includes bassist Bishop, who considers themselves nonbinary trans masculine; and drummer Rainy, "a queer female who rejects the binary and 'thinks the whole thing is malarkey.'"
The inspirational video was directed by Jenny Bergman of The Secret Bureau of Art & Design, and the release party raised funds for the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. Happy Little Clouds' first full-length album, Shift, is now available. (HappyLittleClouds.com)