Mirella Frangella | Photographer
"My parents were really good at being quite neutral about gender. It was never like: ‘You are a girl and these are the rules that you are supposed to do.’ I have two older brothers and I wanted to be different. I feel rather empowered that I grew up with such a strong family ideal of ‘express yourself how you want to’. However, it was just a path from being free to like continuing and learn more about who I am.
I was working at a queer bar and it helped me understand that the expression of femininity and being feminine can be so much more than obviously being a woman. I’ve always been very feminine but seeing how queer men can also be very feminine was quite a beautiful thing. That definitely had a big impact on me, also in feeling freer in my own way of being feminine.
My song writing and my music have always been very emotive. So much of it is coming from my feelings and my experiences of the world and my sort of holistic sensual nature, which I think is a very feminine attitude. And also this feeling of being observing and aware of my surroundings… being observative to your emotions and being connected to them and not trying to push them away or not understand them, but to actually embrace them – I think that’s a very feminine thing to do.
The same goes with my synaesthesia. It means that your senses cross paths in the brain, so you can see colours or smell sounds. It’s this deep connection with sensuality, because if every sense is crossed you are experiencing the world in a high-intense, sensual way. That ties into my feminine side: just wanting to really take time to experience things fully and deeply and emotionally.
Being on stage performing, but also when I work with synaesthesia, it’s really important that people connect with me. I’m forming this connection by being disarming and calming, which are very feminine attributes as well.
I feel very free in my femininity. Then there are times when hiding that femininity makes me feel safer. Sometimes I’d be walking home from work really late at night. And if I saw a man walking towards me, I would always put on this different kind of walk. Like I’d try to make myself feel or appear bigger or more masculine in order to protect myself in an emergency. On the other hand, the clothes that I want to wear outside might sometimes draw too much attention to me. And I don’t like that. I just want to do whatever I want to do.
It would be so amazing if the world would be more feminine in general. If everything from politics to environment and climate issues to city planning or architecture would shift to a much more feminine approach, it would be utterly beautiful. In general, I would wish for an expression that is more feminine. For men especially: it’s such a beautiful thing when men can express their feminine side."