Performance

A Statement

Friends and colleagues,

On this day, Transgender Day of Visibility, I have an important announcement to make. For a a few years, I have been out to close family and friends as ‘non-binary’, using the pronouns they/them/their. I thought, perhaps foolishly, that I could separate this aspect of my personal life from the gendered shackles of my professional singing career, but it has become clearer to me over the process of furthering my studies and developing as an artist that this is not possible. Being a member of the trans community is integral to who I am, and being constantly (if innocently) misgendered where I work is a strain.

On a wider scale, I believe now is the ‘right’ time to come out. With Lucia Lucas making her debut at Tulsa Opera in the role of Don Giovanni, young tenor Holden Madagame making national headlines, and colleagues and peers such as Alex Bork and CN Lester spreading the message that non binary/trans classical singers, respectively, exist on a local level, one could say that we are perhaps at a ‘tipping point’. The important part of a tipping is to not be complacent and expect everyone around you to do the hard work, while you sit there, in what could be construed as benefitting by your silence. We can, and must, be advocates for change and acceptance.

Furthermore, I request that in any future engagements I am referred to by the correct pronouns. Even in conversations where I am not present, it is important to keep this up. This will not affect any part of my singing. I am still Ella Taylor and I am still a soprano, and I still continue to be inspired and delighted by the art of classical music. I will approach every project with the same professionalism, and will deliver, what I hope are, brilliant results!

Thank you for taking the time to read what was an emotionally exhausting piece to write, and I look forward to any further positive discussions anyone may wish to have with me.

Ella