In today’s episode, Sara Beuchner takes us through her journey as a transgender woman and shares how her relationship with the orchestral community changed when she decided to transition. She educated us on the intolerance that still exists towards the transgender community and shared how she has navigated that bias and still managed to be an extremely successful concert pianist.
Sara Davis Buechner is one of the leading concert pianists of our time. She has been praised worldwide as a musician of “intelligence, integrity and all-encompassing technical prowess” (New York Times). Japan’s InTune magazine says: “When it comes to clarity, flawless tempo selection, phrasing and precise control of timbre, Buechner has no superior.”
Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity or expression (masculine, feminine, other) is different from their sex (male, female) at birth. Gender identity refers to one’s internal understanding of one’s own gender, or the gender with which a person identifies. Gender expression is a term used to describe people’s outward presentation of their gender.
Gender identity and sexual orientation are different facets of identity. Everyone has a gender identity and a sexual orientation, but a person’s gender does not determine a person’s sexual orientation. Transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or none of the above.
Non-binary or genderqueer is a spectrum of gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine—identities that are outside the gender binary. Non-binary identities can fall under the transgender umbrella, since many non-binary people identify with a gender that is different from their assigned sex.
Gender is your internal sense of self, who you feel you are whether that’s male, female or perhaps you don’t feel strongly to any particular label about gender. Gender is often linked to ideas of masculinity, femininity, stereotypes etc. Your gender can be expressed in a number of ways, some common examples include clothing, behaviour and pronouns.
If your gender is the same as you were assigned at birth, this is known as cisgender (or cis for short). If you feel your gender is different to the one you were assigned at birth you may identify as trans or non-binary.