For Greer, that's partially the point of her music and activism. Often, between shows on her DIY self-booked tours, Greer can be found teaching workshops to college students and community groups with such titles as "LGBTQ Liberation and Environmental Justice" or "Queers Against Gentrification."


On a sunny Friday afternoon, Evan Greer is standing under an enormous tree nearby her Jamaica Plain apartment, plucking at her banjo as her 21-month-old son Saoirse runs around in the grass. Today is Greer's 27th birthday. Her partner, Erin, is pouring cups of water from a glass pitcher, while Saoirse chases after a bush of purple rhododendrons.

"Hey, buddy," calls Greer to her baby, with a smile. "Want to get in a picture with Ima?"

"Ima" is the Hebrew word for "mother." Two years ago, when Evan and Erin made the decision to become parents, they chose the word; Erin wanted to be called "Mommy."

On a recent tour, Greer, Erin, and Saoirse (that's Gaelic for "freedom") toured with another set of queer parents. For Greer, it has been important to bring visibility to the different types of queer and transgender families that exist.

"Even within the queer scene, I think there's kind of a hesitation to embrace or make visible the many different types of queer families that there are," she says. "It's not all just rich gay men who adopt babies from wherever."

Greer has long been involved in the Riot Folk Collective, a group of political artists all over the country which she helped found and whose fans and friends have included Tom Morello and Howard Zinn. But even before that, she liked playing protests — like during the anti-globalization movement of the early aughts. "My guitar smelled like tear gas for years during that time," she says.

Greer's activism, and her music, is often about the intersection between movements. "I do have my gay environmental anthem," she says. "[But] if I'm at a gay bar, I'm singing about unions. If I'm at a union hall, I'm singing about being queer."

It's a theme that continues to resonate within her most recent musical endeavor: a collaborative album between Greer and Spiritchild, a hip-hop artist from the South Bronx. The songs find Greer teetering between folk-punk and spoken-word rapping.

On "Drag Peasant (Assimilation)," a song that will feature NY musician Bell's Roar, Greer challenges gentrification, militarism, and mainstream queer activism in one go. "People ask me if I am a drag queen/I tell 'em that I've never been into royalty . . . If I had to choose, I'd be a drag peasant, organizing a rebellion, no time like the present."


Feminist groups have long advocated for, and supported, women who pursue the hyper-masculine world of music making. So how do transwomen fit into the larger conversation?

"I don't know very many other trans-feminine singer-songwriters who are out there performing and touring," says Greer. "And that's nothing against my trans brothers, but I think maybe there's a stronger network of solidarity for trans male performers."

But the issue of male dominance over music communities is universal, she says, and not just limited to the trans community.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |   next >
Related: Beyond Dilla and Dipset, Various Artists | Casual Victim Pile: Austin 2010, Review: In Search of Beethoven, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Music, Arts, DIY,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
    In 2010, a group of 20-something art and music enthusiasts transformed an unassuming basement space on Vancouver Street into YES.OUI.SI., a multi-media gallery and gathering spot for young talents that hosted dozens of visual-art shows, film screenings, literary readings, and experimental music performances.
    Noah Bond's Allston apartment looks like an antique shop.
  •   BEACH FOSSILS | CLASH THE TRUTH  |  February 20, 2013
    Last year in an interview with the Phoenix , Dustin Payseur of Beach Fossils said his sophomore album would be inspired by "a lot of frustration from a lot of different sources."
  •   ICEAGE | YOU'RE NOTHING  |  February 11, 2013
    There's something intriguing about the ways Copenhagen punk band Iceage seem simultaneously to care so much and so little.
    An art gallery may seem like an unconventional space for discussions on insect behavior, but Maria Molteni maintains beekeeping is as much an art as a science.

 See all articles by: LIZ PELLY