Survival & Love According To Shawna Virago
Shawna Virago is a contemporary urban folk, punk and Americana artist unlike any other.
Calling herself a "transgender trickster", and being branded as an "outlaw onstage", she has been performing as an openly transgender woman since the early 1990s. She currently serves as the artistic director of the San Fransisco Transgender Film Festival, selecting films and videos to be shown to audiences, co-ordinating production staff and volunteers, and spearheading publicity efforts.
Her latest album, 'Heaven Sent Delinquent', is a coalescence of trans-Americana and acoustics interpreting survival and events pertaining to love.
"The Ballad of Miss Suzy Texas", the third track of 'Heaven Sent Delinquent', features Shawna vocally painting a picture of inclusiveness and the recognition of beauty. She teaches us that it comes in all forms, and love has no rules and shows no restrictions.
"Burnout" documents Shawna's personal struggle of "all of us being brought up... to know our place." This is an aspect of Shawna's life that she's dealt with constantly. Growing up, she knew who she really was, and her day-to-day life involved the fight of staying true to her identity, while combating societal views of "normal" behaviour based on stereotypes. As the title suggests, this was a stressful extension to ordinary life, leading Shawna to emotional exhaustion over time.
"Land of Guns and Honey", 'Heaven Sent Delinquent's' final track, holds multifarious messages: on one hand, Shawna fought for her place in the world, hence the "guns"; where "honey" represents peace and coming to terms, essentially a safe zone where no harm can be done.