Out in the Bay: 'Changeling' delves deep and sings about transition

  • by Eric Jansen
  • Thursday July 14, 2022
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Nick Lawrence performing with wife, Donna Lawrence, at Trans Pride 2018. Photo: Courtesy Nick Lawrence
Nick Lawrence performing with wife, Donna Lawrence, at Trans Pride 2018. Photo: Courtesy Nick Lawrence

Hear about the transgender experience firsthand with singer-songwriter Nick Lawrence, a family coach and former foster parent educator on LGBTQ topics. His new album, "I Am A Man," is about his own transition.

On this week's Out in the Bay Queer Radio + Podcast, Lawrence dives deep into emotional and physical details, calling on his personal experience and professional training to demystify the transition process with passion, grace, and a healthy dose of humor. (The discussion includes some graphic biological and surgical information.)

We also hear two of Lawrence's songs: "I'm Still Your Mother," a soulful ballad about being estranged from his daughter because of his transition, and "Before (I Became a Man)," an upbeat celebratory number that starts with:

I'm looking in the mirror and liking what I see / I really don't remember this happening to me /

Before, before I became a man / I started loving myself right — just the way I am

"I'm Still Your Mother" came to Lawrence nearly seven years ago when he was in his "deepest grief," he said. "I could not bear the thought of my daughter rejecting me." Its first and last stanzas give a taste:

A long time ago, when I was still a girl / I gave birth to you and you changed my world / How I loved you so / I kissed you from head to toe / I'm still your mother you know


Life has a way of changing course / The light from within is a mighty strong force / I took a turn to follow my heart / But I never thought we would part / And I will never let go / I'm still your mother you know

Lawrence said he and his friends call him a "changeling." "I was a daughter and a son. I was a mother and a father, I was a brother and a sister, I've been a grandma and a grandpa, a heterosexual woman, a bi woman, a lesbian, a straight guy, a bi guy, and a gay guy.

"I think I've hit all the stops," he added with a laugh. "Each one of those has its own realm of blessing and joy ... and is a wonderful aspect of what life has to offer."

His music is available on most streaming platforms by searching for "Nick Lawrence FTM." He also has a children's book — for parents too — called "I Am A Boy."

Hear more from Lawrence on this week's Out in the Bay, airing at 5 p.m. Friday, July 15, on KALW, 91.7 FM SF Bay Area-wide; and 8:30 a.m. Saturday, July 16, on KSFP, 102.5 FM San Francisco only. It is always available on Out in the Bay's website, where a longer version with deeper discussion and two more songs, including one not allowed on public radio, will be posted July 15.

Eric Jansen is founding host and managing producer of Out in the Bay — Queer Radio + Podcast. Learn more and listen at https://www.outinthebay.org/

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