David Jones, who would be known as David Bowie, left the world shortly after his album release Blackstar. His last video that showed him dying in a bed was so disturbing; I had to turn it off halfway through the piece, as I couldn’t watch him take his last breath. It was typical Bowie-style, yet this time it wasn’t a character he was playing, it was him facing his own demise.
While the world mourns the loss of this iconic superstar, I wonder which of the characters he depicted was really who he was. In an interview from fifteen years ago on BBC, he stated that he was never comfortable on stage. The characters he played allowed him to calm the fears he had in performing. Ziggy Stardust, his alter-ego in the 1970’s was indeed light-years away from the person in this interview.
During his career, David Bowie suggested he was gay, then bi-sexual. Yet, he was also quite comfortable wearing woman’s clothing. Was this another character he created or was he really dual-gendered? Watching many of his videos performing as himself, he did have a feminine stance, with his legs crossed like a lady, looking every bit like a woman sans the make-up and woman’s clothing. Yet there was something distinctly “womanly” about him; not gay, but more like a transgender woman.
Bowie, to my knowledge, never admitted to being dual-gendered or a cross-dresser, yet his actions would suggest that he felt quite comfortable in a femme role. As a successful rock star, he could present anyway he wanted to from wearing make-up, woman’s clothing and feminine hairdo and still not be considered dual-gendered, something that cross-dressers can not do without being labeled.
Bowie was the ultimate androgynous person who sang about Martians, the solar system, issues on earth and needed change in our society. There was a conflict within him, as if he was still not comfortable with his identity, even in his final days. His pain became our pain and continues to haunt us even after his death.
I believe he was dual-gendered, a cross-dresser who embraced both his femme and male sides. Yet, he was never labeled as such, as David Bowie never wanted to be categorized. He floated between his male and femme selves as his fans allowed him to express himself, without judgment. If only the many Trans, dual-gendered and gender fluid people could do this without ramifications, we would have a more honest world; one filled with true love, hope and vision.
Rest in peace, David Jones (Bowie) and know that we appreciate not only your music, but also your journey here on earth. Your contribution has changed our lives as change is indeed coming for all of us to be able to fully express ourselves.
Now, “Let’s Dance.”