“It isn’t that you don’t like boys, it’s that you only like boys you want to be.”
Andrea Gibson’s powerful new video for their poem “Easy Life” is both a love letter and rallying cry — not only to their former self, but to anyone currently struggling with their own identity.
The piece, which premieres today exclusively on BuzzFeed, comes off Gibson's forthcoming album, Hey Galaxy, out January 12, 2018.
In the video, the poet urges everyone — queer and otherwise — to choose to live a “hard life” that is completely their own over an easy one.
“I was thinking about the idea of having a hard life and what that means,” Gibson, who uses they/them pronouns, told BuzzFeed News in a phone interview. “How having an easy life doesn't necessarily equate to having a better one.”
“I went through a period, before writing this, where I was feeling pretty dreamy about the idea of time travel. I was thinking about how comforting and exciting it would have been to be young and have a pep talk from my older self in terms of gender and queerness — the good and the bad of it.”
Many of the lyrics reference (very specifically) Gibson’s own personal experiences with their gender identity while growing up.
Vignettes like the following, Gibson admits, stem from true stories.
at the prom where you’ll run home in a snowstorm /
chucking your last pair of heels in a snow bank /
realizing you are the only boy you ever wanted to tear your dress off for.”
“Mary Levine calls you a dyke /
and you don’t have the language to tell her she is wrong /
“They're actual personal experiences, though I do change the names at times,” Gibson said.