Skip to main content

I don't work for the BBC…or any news outlet…so I can't give any explanation as to why this article was classified under Health.

The story recounts the odyssey of Harper Robertson's transition from female to male and its effect on his parents, music producer Thomas Morgan Robertson and his wife, actress Kathleen Beller.  You may know Thomas better under his stage name, Thomas Dolby.

The story was prepared by the BBC's Graham Satchell.

The song being referred to is Dolby's 2011 release "Simone", shown here in a fan video:

<
Dolby explained the origin of the song on his blog in 2009.
About fifteen years ago, a new song popped into my head. It had a title, a melody, and a handful of lyrics. It had a faintly Brazilian feel to the rhythm and the harmonies. The title wasSimone. It seemed to be about a woman who left her partner and escaped to some exotic location.

But the chorus was lacking a punchline. If I was going to sing her name several times, I needed to tell Simone something. There was no message to give her. The atmosphere was certainly there; yet to keep it from lapsing into it ‘lounge’ territory, it needed an ironic twist. And every time I tried to sit at the piano and play it, I got lost in the chord sequence. It seemed that every few bars there were several different ways for the chords to modulate. I would pick a given key to start in, but when I got back to the next verse I’d be in a completely different key. It was a musical Rubik’s Cube, and it was frustrating me. So over the years, I never made progress with the song.

This is not like me! I usually have a very good sense of orientation with melodies and chord sequences. I can bend music and lyrics until they make sense. But with this piece of fiction, it took a slice of real life to bring me to a place where I could complete the song. Someone I’m close to told me they have gender dysphoria. (S)he felt a transition was taking place. This news was astonishing, and more than a little frightening. I found it hard to process. Looking back, I realised I could have seen this coming.

But it brought me back to my song. What if Simone was previously Simon? She was running away from her former, male self? Suddenly I had unlocked the riddle, I’d found the ironic twist I was looking for. I went for a long walk across the marshes, which is where I usually come up with my best lyrics, and I found the punchline I was lacking for the chorus.


You’re like a timebomb in his blood.
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site