Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-11-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

'Rainbow Train' on track to children's gender expression
by Melissa Wasserman
2015-05-06

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter and music educator Chana Rothman may look like she lives a mainstream life with a male partner, her 4 and 2 year-old sons and a baby on the way. However, she plays an unconventional tune, which has gone into her first children's album, Rainbow Train.

Rothman grew up in Toronto, Canada. Her musical track began at 14, when she went to a music camp. The last chair flutist, each week she participated in musical challenges where she and another camper would play in competition and the losing musician would go down a level. This activity, Rothman remembers, was when she realized she did not want music to be a devastating experience for anyone.

At the age of 18, Rothman came out as bisexual, which she explained became a significant part of her identity. Rothman started writing her own songs during those high school years, listing Ani DiFranco and the Indigo Girls as huge influences along with Tracy Chapman, a female artist who did not abide by female stereotypes. She played less of the flute and picked up the guitar.

Through the years, she has babysat, taught Hebrew school and outdoor education and was a song leader in the Jewish community. Her love of kids, music, culture, religion and spirituality, has lead up to her career as a music educator.

"I really experienced and witnessed how powerful it is to be part of a music-making community and a community that is working toward justice," said Rothman. "It's meaningful to be in groups of people who are interested in changing things that need to be changed in the world and talking about things that need to be changed and they're doing that work. I have found, as a musician, that there's always a place for that work. Music always has a space. It always has something to offer and always has a way of bringing people together."

Her style has changed over the last decade and she enjoys incorporating folk, pop, hip-hop and rock into her music.

"My goal there is to really introduce children to as many kinds of sounds as possible while building community and musicality and confidence," Rothman said.

Her awareness and dislike of unfair stereotypes and gender expectations began at a young child. Having two brothers who played hockey, she also wanted to play, but being a girl, she was denied.

Following unconventional suit, at a clothing swap two years ago, her oldest son fell in love with a dress he picked out. Rothman's peers in the inclusive community she intentionally surrounds herself in, encouraged him.

"I think any of those things are terrifying to us because it doesn't matter how progressive you are, we are raised in a culture that is really transphobic and sexist and really misogynist," said Rothman. "Anything feminine is considered a target whether it's on the male, female, transperson, or gender non-conforming person. It was sweet to see he was comfortable and I was proud of him for being free to be himself even though I don't think he perceives himself that way. I will say as time went on and that's what he wanted to wear, I had a lot of my own fear and bias to fight past."

Searching for tools as a parent and for her project, "Rainbow Train," Rothman joined a parents' support group on Facebook and read the books "Gender Born, Gender Made," "Jacob's New Dress," and "Raising My Rainbow."

"I leave it open and as a gift that we have been given the opportunity to stand behind the thing we believe in about children's freedom of expression and freedom to be who they are," Rothman said. "Our obligation as parents is to support them no matter who they are and how hard it is or how harshly they may be judged in the world or no matter how attached the world might be to their gender presentation."

"Rainbow Train" was created with a grant and based on feedback from diverse focus groups Rothman devised. The children's album, she adds, is a project with meaning beyond herself and her family.

"I feel like this project has a sense of meaning that's much deeper than the music I've written before," Rothman said. "I've always written about consciousness and social justice and spirituality, but there's something about having had the opportunity to combine all the different pieces of myself as an educator, as a musician, as a parent, as an activist. It really feels like a culmination of my life's work and it feels like something I really think is larger than myself."

"Rainbow Train," which will be released May 12, is a musical "mish-mosh" featuring latin, jazz, disco, hip-hop, pop, folk, a ballad and children's voices in dialogue. The target age is 4-9-years-old, but Rothman insists the songs do not talk down to kids. The themes surrounding gender identity and expression are ageless.

The album is a collaboration with many individuals. Along with Rothman, the core musicians include Bill Moriarty, Stuart Fuchs, Sarah Carlisle and Francois Zayas. Many other artists lent their musical talents, but Rothman makes special mention of Mya Adriene Byrne, who co-wrote the song "Everybody Gets to Choose their Own Name." Byrne came out as a transwoman and is a trans activist.

"I intend this as a tool for parents and educators and for children and for anyone who really cares about freedom—freedom of expression and gender freedom," said Rothman, who was partially inspired by some of the books she read. "I really intended this to be a soundtrack for a growing movement. I feel like any good social movement needs some good music to go with it. I'm really excited to present this as a companion to this really exciting movement toward gender liberation that's happening."

For more information, visit chanarothman.com/rainbow-train .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Federal Court Blocks All Aspects of Trump's Transgender Military Ban 2017-11-22 - From ACLU BALTIMORE — A federal court today granted the American Civil Liberties Union's request for a complete halt to implementation of ...


Gay News

NCAVP, HRC/TPOCC release reports on anti-trans violence 2017-11-22 - The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) has released the report "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Intimate Partner Violence in 2016." ...


Gay News

Illinois campaign seeks funds for supplies to help underserved students achieve 2017-11-21 - CHICAGO — Back 2 School Illinois ( B2SI ), a Chicago-based nonprofit that provides tens of thousands of deserving kids from low-income families ...


Gay News

VIEWS Pope's record on LGBT issues weakened by criticism of transgender community 2017-11-21 - Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has caused much ink to be spilled in evaluating his stand on LGBT issues. Now, a ...


Gay News

Jury awards $1M+ to Oklahoma transgender woman in Title VII employment case 2017-11-21 - From Freedom for All Americans: Jury Awards Over $1M to Oklahoma Transgender Woman in Title VII Employment Discrimination Case OKLAHOMA ...


Gay News

Trans Day of Remembrance marked with march, rally 2017-11-20 - On Nov. 19, Brave Space Alliance, in partnership with Trans Liberation Collective, acknowledged Trans Day of Remembrance with a celebration of trans lives, ...


Gay News

Tambor leaving 'Transparent' after accusations 2017-11-19 - In the wake of two accusations of sexual harassment by members of the Transparent team that he has strongly denied, Jeffery Tambor decided ...


Gay News

Dr. Kathleen Robbins appointed to IL Senate Task Force on Discrimination, Harassment 2017-11-19 - Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state's LGBTQ civil rights organization, released the following statement. We applaud the appointment of ...


Gay News

The Night Ministry addresses needs of youth at risk for homelessness 2017-11-17 - Chicago, IL — Through its Youth Housing and Outreach Programs, The Night Ministry offers a lifeline to teens and young adults identified in ...


Gay News

Planned Parenthood of Illinois Marks Transgender Awareness Week 2017-11-17 - [Chicago] — Nov. 14-20 is Transgender Awareness Week, dedicated to educating people about the transgender community and raising awareness of the issues facing ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.