Young James Dean

This is my latest music video for an amazing song called “Young James Dean” by one of my favorite bands, Girlyman – Ty Greenstein, Doris Muramatsu and Nate Borofsky. We shot it in Los Angeles and San Francisco with some fantastic appearances by Monistat, the brains behind the transguy quarterly, Original Plumbing- Amos Mac and Rocco Kayiatos, Ian Harvie, Madison Young, Donna Delore, Tomcat, and many many others! Special thanks to my husband Al Ridenour for camera work in LA, Chip Yamada for editing and Mookey Goh for assisting me in SF. I did almost all of the photography myself, with the exception of the band shots in LA, which were done by Al. When I was shooting Ian’s part in front of my house, I fell really really hard on my knee because I was trying to protect the camera and break my fall with my body (!) and there’s still a bump there but I am not mad at it because I love this video. Pretty much everyone involved in the video (both in front of and behind the camera) is trans/butch/queer/femme, which for me, in the greater LGBT world, is my family. The song is a meditation on butch identity, and so I wanted to show how beautiful we are as a community, no matter what gender we are or what we choose to be. I was going for an old Smiths video look with a SF sensibility. I think you can practically taste the fog. It’s a real San Francisco treat.

17 Comments. Add To The Mix…

  1. Bravo! This is one of my favorite Girlyman songs and you captured it perfectly with a very simple concept. This video is really beautiful.

  2. @ Amy: Yeah, that redhead in plaid is a total hottie. Cutie indeed.

    Margaret, love the video. Did you ever consider a narrative representation of the lyrics? Obviously small, tight segments would be used, but I suspect seeing it would resonate highly with many of us. And, then you can “fix” it and make it all better!


  3. Awesome!!! Thanks for pushing for this video Margaret! Thank you Girlyman for sharing your stories. Young James Dean is one of my absolute favs!! Namaste.

  4. Hum…I was hoping for visuals about the diner, the blonde, and the KISS! Even a shot of James would of been great!
    I just love this song and will try to see Girlyman every time they come to NC with my daughter Ceci!

  5. This video is gorgeous, and so is everyone involved in it. I actually really love that you steered away from anything literal in interpreting “Young James Dean.” This has been one of my absolute favorite songs of all time since the very first moment I clamped ears on it, and I think the video captures the poignancy of the lyrics and the restless energy of the music while at the same time balancing all that longing and loneliness with a feeling of community and confidence and love. A literal staging of the lyrics wouldn’t have delivered the same feelings of inclusion and celebration that this simple, unadorned homage to all of us achieves. Thank you, Margaret Cho, and thank you, girlyman!

  6. Great job on the video, i saw Girlyman in LA when you opened for them. We all fell in love with Girlyman but especially with Ty. Even the straight ones fell in love with Ty. She is so hot, hot, hot.

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