Sissy Bounce: It’s Official

Remember a couple of months ago when I posted all that stuff about Sissy Bounce? Well, the meme is done blowed up, ’cause Gambit Weekly’s current cover story is about–you guessed it–Sissy Bounce.

Not surprisingly, writer Alison Fensterstock is a much smarter writer than I am, and had enough time and curiosity to really explore the topic. Among the article’s more interesting tidbits is verification of what I’d expected: that straight Bounce rappers aren’t exactly thrilled with all the attention being lavished on the sissies. As rapper Plies recalls from his visit to a New Orleans club this July:

“And the DJ played one of those songs,” he said. “What the f*** is that? Come on, play some Soulja Slim or something, play Dizzy’s “Work Ya Elbows.’ The DJs act like they don’t have any other music to play. It’s nothing against them. It’s just the only thing I hear now in bounce is gay, and it’s something I don’t want my children to hear,” Meana added, although he was careful to note that gangsta rap and his own songs glorifying drug use are also off-limits in his house. “They can listen to the radio version,” he said. “But I hear the same complaint (that bounce is gay) at the barbershop, at the studio, everywhere I go.”

Which is, I guess, a marginally more tolerant response than we’d have gotten five or ten years ago. So: yay, but also, boo.

Regardless of the homophobia Allison exposes, it’s a great piece. And as if that weren’t enough, the equally awesome author (and recently repatriated New Orleanian) Kevin Allman has posted a lengthy Q&A he had with Ms. Fensterstock about the whole experience of researching and writing the article. Among her observations:

[T]he NOLA sissies are less a part of queer culture at large, I think, than they are a part of New Orleans culture. There’s a huge Internet fan base for them. It’s totally possible that Freedia or Katey would have a RuPaul moment. They have that kind of rock star quality. But as Matt Miller, who directed the bounce documentary said, the problem is also with the regional quality of the music – it’s really simple and rough and based a lot on the neighborhood-projects-school call and response. So that might inhibit it translating nationally more than the sissy-ness would. But I hope they do.

Also worthy of excitement: Ya Heard Me, the Bounce documentary she mentions, which features several Sissy Bouncers. More yay for your Wednesday!

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