Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

I Sang!

Tonight there was a special extra night of Transcriptions, that wicked-groovy and inclusive queer open mic night, at St. Luke’s & St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (S.L.A.M.), a small, progressive Episcopal church in Allston, MA. I adore Transcriptions. This is exactly what I meant the other day when I wrote about community. These amazing folks are one of my communities, and one of the one that makes me feel most alive, most cherished, most valuable.

Transcriptions happens on Thursday evenings, which is when my church services are at The Crossing as well. So, it’s a struggle to get there, but I make it work (ever other month I skip church to be there for the whole time, and every other month I dash over after church).

I’ve read my own poetry and blog posts and other folks poetry. The last couple time I haven’t really been prepared to perform. It’s getting to be a habit – lol. Anyway, last time I told a story about Arisia and read the blog post I wrote about kids who break gender stereotypes. This time, for whatever reason, I decided to finally sing. This requires some explanation. I don’t sing. I don’t sing back-up vocals when I drum. I just don’t sing in front of people. I’ll sing along to songs, sure, but I never sing in a way that I can’t hide my voice. And yet I decided to sing. This goes beyond any issues I’ve ever had with my voice not being feminine enough, it’s just that I’m really scared to sing in public – I don’t think I sing very well (though I also suspect that I could sing okay if I actually worked at it). But I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I finally felt like the time was right.

And I chose a very specific song to make my debut. It’s the song that I used to use to sing a very special little girl to sleep. It’s been two decades since I used it for that, but I still remembered it like I had sung it just yesterday. Before I sang I told the crowd why the song was important to me, and what it meant to me. Here’s the song I sang:

Okay, so yes, it’s a sort of weird song to sing a baby to sleep with, but way back in the day it was the song I knew, so it was what I sang to her. And it worked; for a time I was the only one who could get her to sleep. 🙂

Oh, and perhaps not surprisingly, I sing in a different key now. I started singing and I quickly had to adjust to how different my voice is since the last time I sang that song.

And then one of my best friends and one of the most special people in the world sang a song that she wrote (the ~first~ song she’s ever written – how brave is that?), and the Darling Boyfriend recited The Lorax (from memory!), and a few people shared personal stories of depth and power. I am always amazed both by the strength and courage of the performers at Transcriptions, but also at their openness and willingness to share the deepest, most profound things that I’ve seen folks share.

I could gush for a very long time about how much I think of this very special group of folks. It’s always special.

And then the evening ended with a performance by Beth Colegrove, who made me cry at least twice. Her voice was so pretty, so strong, so passionate, that it just touched me very deeply. I’d say that after seeing her performance I’m definitely a fan. It was such a treat to see such a great singer as I sat snuggling with the Darling Boyfriend.

Though even with all of that cool and grooviness, all I can think is that I SANG!

Penny sang.



  lisalee18wheeler wrote @


  Judy wrote @

Awesome! That is too cool! I’m glad for you, that you did it. I sometimes think about that song. When i’m feeling blue i still sing I dreamed a dream…… Poor Cait, with us singing her those melancholy songs as a baby its a wonder she isn’t in therapy! Love you and am thinking of you! Very Proud of You!

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