One man, one woman, one who (like God; like us) is both and more.

Meet David Brown. He runs the YouTube channel Boyinaband. Amongst his many terrific videos there are these two gems. The first is a song he released just last month.

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YouTube Preview Image

In my world, Christians spend endless time pontificating, debating and arguing about what, beneath it all, is the “question” of gender identity, the bulb from which grows so much of our current drama over all matters LGBT.

Meanwhile, out in the real world, society is slowly but surely righting itself.

Here’s to you, David Brown. And here’s to all those like you who, despite endless pressures to conform, insist upon heeding the voice inside of them calling them to become every bit the person they were created to be.

And here are the lyrics to “You Look Like a Girl”:

“Hey Faggot / Hey Freak / Hey you girly worthless gay
Give me every minute back that I wasted looking at your face
Your very presence irritates me / I can’t listen to what you say because
your lack of masculinity sickens me and I can’t take it

“Ah! / You’re a state, a disgrace and I ought to mention
that every hair on your head is a cry for attention
If you insist on that image then you deserve to be emasculated
so take a long hard look in the mirror and re-evaluate it.”

Finished? You really think you’re more masculine?
Na man, you’re insecure and full of it–take a laxative
I’m so sure of myself I’m practically reaching Nirvana
you’re that guy that says “no homo” after he eats a banana

I got that confidence that only comes with competence
but judging from your comments you’ve got some internal con-fuh-lict
Oh you gave your mate a hug? Yeah, better tap his back
’cause you’re scared people think you want to tap his back

I’m that guy that’s calm and shows affection to friends
You’re that guy that guarded and keeps his feelings in his head
I’m that guy that’s strong enough to admit to his weakness
You’re that guy that feels the need to stuff it when he’s on the beach

You see me as a threat to gender identity
Acting like a guy with long hair is a felony
“You can’t tell the girls from the boys, its a travesty!”
Oh no, now you might have to judge them on their personality

something’s wrong if some big long strands of hair can shake your worldview
I rock this look and people like it, at least my type of girls do
and I don’t want to get a ripped body, I like mine
if you call me stick thin, then that’s a fine line

You wanna play it by your gender archetypes?
’cause your logic is not entirely right
you hypocrite, I tried to be nice, but you’re so ostensibly sexist
that I’m gonna have to prove on your terms who the best is

think: who has the more masculine confidence?
The man who anonymously calls a man that’s androgynous
a fag cause it bothers him or the man with the gall to share
his character, thoughts and all his talent with all of us?

by your standards it’s obvious I am the embodiment of
masculine dominance, but those standards are abhorrent
the fact is your cockiness here just masks your incompetence
and you cannot acknowledge it so you attack me ad hominem

your gender normative values are crumbling
like a big-ass cake, mmm-mmm, my tummy’s rumbling
yum yum / tastes like bigoted humbling
I’m almost as happy to tell you that you’re morally wrong as tumblr is

So let me set this straight just like my sexual preference
oh wait that simile just did it / what’s next then?/ well I
guess that the next step now is to address that your best efforts doubtless will
never be as eloquent as anything I said and if you still don’t get it lemme spell it out.

No-one benefits from being negative
about irrelevant things, that’s the end of it.
It’s pointless; If I didn’t like someone’s look
I’d accept it’s their choice and just listen to what their message is.

Two other things I like about Mr. Brown and his song. First, for three or so years I made my living as a music journalist, and I still get a thrill out of finding a real talent still relatively unknown and helping bring them whatever attention I can. Secondly, I have a group called Unfundamentalist Christians (group blog; Facebook page), from which this is derived:

So. You know.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • Matt

    Oh no John, the Christians in your world are right. It’s a vast conspiracy too intricate for normal people to understand. I got my marching orders when I started to bind my chest. But miraculously enough, you do understand! Yay! Say, you must get this question a lot, but are you sure you’re a Christian? You spend way too much time just loving on people! Well, I love you for it.

  • Bill Steffenhagen

    That’s all well and good I guess, but I still can’t understand the words he is rapping. I guess my ears just aren’t tuned to it and I don’t have the patience for “music” that is mostly “noise”.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Mostly noise? Really? Wow.

      • James Walker

        it’s probably a generational thing, John. remember that you and I both find Marilyn Manson to be musically talented, if otherwise a douche and a fashion/marketing victim.

        • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

          I guess. It sure is lazy though (not to mention rude–not to mention arrogant) to simply dismiss any genre of music that you don’t like as “noise.” But … yeah. I remember watching the Rolling Stones on The Ed Sullivan Show, and my parents complaining that it wasn’t music at all, but only noise. I remember it because of how much I couldn’t believe they’d just said that.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Agreed. I personally think most southern gospel sounds like people trying to outscreech each other in four part harmony, but my husband loves it, So I will willingly listen to it once a week on Sunday mornings. There is some of it that is quite pretty, plus its easy to sing harmonies to. On the other hand, he doesn’t understand my adoration for classical.
            My personal Pandora station has a wide range of music, Alison Kraus, Evanessence, J. Giels Band, Beyonce, Chopin, Supertramp, Etta James, AC/DC, Pharrel.

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            Now watch what you say or they’ll be calling you a radical, Liberal, fanatical, criminal.

          • James Walker
          • Bill Steffenhagen

            I went to that video. I had not known of him until now and yes, I can relate to him. He seems like a lovely Spirit but, despite that, I won’t have time for him either. Just can’t do it all. It’s just that. A time factor, not a dislike.

          • Guy Norred

            “outscreech each other in four part harmony”

            I will be laughing about that all day long and I suspect for some time after. Love it!

          • vicden

            oh my gosh, that is what I thought the whole time I lived in Kentucky. Bluegrass gospel, nearly drove me nuts

          • Andy

            Personally, I prefer old-fashioned love songs in 3-part harmony.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Well, I don’t like it, but that’s not arrogant. I just don’t relate to it and, in any case, can’t understand most of the words and why is it “lazy” to not wish to take my time to figure it out, especially when the “music” is overwhelming the words? I’m a musician myself, a singer and I have an equal problem with other genres where I can’t understand the words. (I have excellent hearing, btw, checked less than a year ago. In fact, the audiologist stopped the test half way thru as a waste of time for that reason.)
            I have other things to do too, like respond to your great articles and commenters, write my own book, mow the lawn and pay my bills and sit quietly out in my lawn watching the birds and enjoying the babbling spring waterfall. It is NOT “lazy”. One simply cannot have time for everything, including listening to a piece of music a dozen times just to catch all the words…..let alone when, in the case of some “music”, they are little more than growls and screaming rants that, sans the musical accompaniment, would be called temper tantrums. My comments are meant as no unkind reflection on the young man himself tho, I admit, I can’t relate to him either.

            And don’t get me started on Marilyn Manson (well, I guess James did). I fully understand where he’s coming from philosophically. It’s his image that is repulsive. Seems to me he could get his point across better with a different style. Then again, maybe not, which then becomes more of an indictment upon segments of our society than of the man who,I’m sure, dressed in a suit and without the garish make up, laughs all the way to the bank.
            Sigh.

          • James Walker

            that’s where I was coming from, Bill. there was a study done years and years ago about hearing damage from loud music and what they found was that loud music per se didn’t cause hearing loss (there are caveats, of course, about decibel levels being within safe ranges overall) but listening to music one didn’t already enjoy at a high volume did cause participants to suffer at least temporary hearing loss after the event.

            if you don’t already enjoy the genre and can’t relate to the group of people who DO enjoy and/or create music within the genre, it’s somewhat difficult to perceive the output as anything other than noise.

            I have a similar struggle with Country & Western, but recently I’ve begun to broaden my horizons in that direction. it’s mostly a matter of finding an artist who crosses boundaries with a type of music you already enjoy, assuming you have the time and/or inclination to explore.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            As an aside, John, the whether has been gloriously beautiful here (LaCrosse, WI) the past few days. Maybe it is settling down a bit at last.

          • vicden

            Bill, looks like the next front is moving in now, or at least that is what my sinuses are predicting.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Yeah, I can hear it on the windows, but at least I don’t have to turn the heat on.

        • Jill

          Yeah, so why is that? MM is vile, but the music’s catchy. Except for some of the remakes…but we won’t go there.

          • James Walker

            I see MM as something of a continuation of where GnR was going with their lyrics. it’s so over-the-top that it’s almost parody and almost a criticism of the stereotype about pop music encouraging our children to do drugs, have sex and worship the devil. I can’t tell if that’s (the parody and critique element) deliberate or not.

            the imagery is horrible and the marketing makes him out to be the next coming of the anti-Christ. that part makes him a douche to me. maybe he and his marketing team felt his sound wasn’t stand-out enough to launch the career he hoped for?

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            I think Marilyn Manson is more a continuation of the shock rock genre. Its all about theatrics and image. Alice Cooper did the same kind of thing in my generation. Ironically, these days Cooper is as well known for being a born-again Christian and golfer as he is for his music.

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            Marilyn Manson’s music and image is a reaction to the fundamentalist mindset. Music has always served the function of uniting the tribe, and paradoxically rebelling against the establishment. I think this is especially true of youth culture. The music you listen to is part of your tribal identity and if it annoys your parents and other authority figures so much the better.

    • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

      I recently heard an interview with Mavis Staples where she said that the message of all music is that you are not alone. I think that David Brown’s music says this very clearly. I’m more a Johnny Cash, Billy Bragg, or Indigo Girls fan but his music is important to his fans. Indeed, “life without music would be a mistake.”

  • BarbaraR

    I didn’t quite get this. Like Bill says below, I couldn’t understand the words (Rap is not my most favorite thing ever). I did like the second video about the songwriter, even though I’m not familiar with his songs and that really isn’t the kind of music I would listen to.
    Yes, I am an old fart.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      I’ve written the singer asking him to send me the lyrics, so I can publish some of them beneath the video. When I do that maybe you can have someone read the song’s lyrics to you, Barbara. (HAR! I still got it! Sort of! Anyway, good as always to hear from you, BR.)

      • BarbaraR

        *Snork*

      • James Walker

        but is it contagious and have they started working on a cure?

        • Guest

          There’s even a race!

          • Jill

            I would race for The Cure. These days, Robert Smith could use a little help. But not money. He’s definitely got enough.

        • Guest

          Yes.

        • BarbaraR

          Dang! My uploading skillz are not working today. Two Cure cartoons in one!

      • Michelle Par

        Hey, John. If you go to the YouTube page where the video is posted and click on “more,” David has posted his lyrics:

        Lyrics:
        Hey Faggot / Hey Freak / Hey you girly worthless gay
        Give me every minute back that I wasted looking at your face
        Your very presence irritates me / I can’t listen to what you say because
        your lack of masculinity sickens me and I can’t take it

        Ah! / You’re a state, a disgrace and I ought to mention
        that every hair on your head is a cry for attention
        If you insist on that image then you deserve to be emasculated
        so take a long hard look in the mirror and re-evaluate it

        Finished? You really think you’re more masculine?
        Na man, you’re insecure and full of it, take a laxative
        I’m so sure of myself I’m practically reaching nirvana
        you’re that guy that says “no homo” after he eats a banana

        I got that confidence that only comes with competence
        but judging from your comments you’ve got some internal con-fuh-lict
        Oh you gave your mate a hug? Yeah better tap his back
        ’cause you’re scared people think you want to tap his back

        I’m that guy that’s calm and shows affection to friends
        You’re that guy that guarded and keeps his feelings in his head
        I’m that guy that’s strong enough to admit to his weakness
        You’re that guy that feels the need to stuff it when he’s on the beach

        You see me as a threat to gender identity
        Acting like a guy with long hair is a felony
        “You can’t tell the girls from the boys, its a travesty!”
        Oh no, now you might have to judge them on their personality

        something’s wrong if some big long strands of hair can shake your worldview
        I rock this look and people like it, at least my type of girls do
        and I don’t want to get a ripped body, I like mine
        if you call me stick thin / then that’s a fine line

        You wanna play it by your gender archetypes?
        / ’cause your logic is not entirely right
        you hypocrite, I tried to be nice, but you’re so ostensibly sexist
        that I’m gonna have to prove on your terms who the best is

        think; who has the more masculine confidence?
        The man who anonymously calls a man that’s androgynous
        a fag cause it bothers him or the man with the gall to share
        his character, thoughts and all his talent with all of us?

        by your standards it’s obvious I am the embodiment of
        masculine dominance, but those standards are abhorrent
        the fact is your cockiness here just masks your incompetence
        and you cannot acknowledge it so you attack me ad hominem

        / your gender normative values are crumbling
        like a big-ass cake, mmm-mmm, my tummy’s rumbling
        yum yum / tastes like bigoted humbling
        I’m almost as happy to tell you that you’re morally wrong as tumblr is

        So let me set this straight just like my sexual preference
        oh wait that simile just did it / what’s next then?/ well I
        guess that the next step now is to address that your best efforts doubtless will
        never be as eloquent as anything I said and if you still don’t get it lemme spell it out.

        No-one benefits from being negative
        about irrelevant things, that’s the end of it.
        It’s pointless; If I didn’t like someone’s look
        I’d accept it’s their choice and just listen to what their message is

        • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

          Great! (And duh.) I’ll go add these to the post right now. Thank you so much, Michelle.

          • Michelle Par

            My pleasure! Thanks for sharing such an interesting artist!

  • Kimberly Paine

    Oooh this is amazing. Thank you–you just earned Brown one more follower today. :)

    • Michelle Par

      Same with me! I think I’m in love. :) Oh, and I understood his words JUST FINE. *smh* *sigh*

  • http://brmckay.wordpress.com/ brmckay

    Delightful artistry.

  • vicden

    That was really good. I used to really hate rap and decided it was just “noise”. Then I realised that it was poetry. It’s just presented in a different format that we may be used to. I don’t like all of it, but I rarely like anything any artist does

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Yeah, I mean … saying “I like rap,” is like saying, “I like weather.” There are wonderful and less-than-wonderful songs in every musical genre, of course. I like a lot of rap. I like a lot of country. I like a lot of Hawaiian music. I’m sure if I listened to enough of it I’d end up finding deathcore songs I liked, as … unlikely as that seems to me now.

  • Ellen K.

    Regarding not understanding the words, I watched just now and for me it came up automatically with the words on the video. If it doesn’t for you, look for “CC” and click it.


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