Lucas Silveira, the openly transgender lead singer of Toronto alt-rock band The Cliks, became the first transman to win the “Throw Your Underwear Award Male” (Sexiest Canadian Man) in the year end reader’s poll from Chart Attack, Canada’s premier music magazine. And while the long list of musical Canadian hotties might have several less familiar names to Americans, Silveira did narrowly beat out Avril Lavigne‘s ex, Deryck Whibley of Sum 41.
The androgynous Cliks have made headlines for their gender-bending style, being compared to David Bowie and other musical fashionistas. But their rock icon take on the classic suit comes with the genuine desire to just be themselves. In an interview with Queerty, Silveira said:
It wasn’t something that we sat down and said, “What’s going to be our look?” We kind of presented ourselves as “you know, this is rock n roll and you want to put on a good show and we just took it up a notch from our everyday style … I think our label [Tommy Boy] and our management are really happy that we have this look, because image is as important in the music industry as what you’re selling with regard to your music.
This savvy sense of style has obviously caught the attention of Canadian fans. Whether because of, or in spite of The Clik’s queer overtures and Silveira’s out trans status, metrosexual sexiness has made Silveira a symbol of desirable masculinity. This is even more interesting considering that Silveira does not take testosterone.
While transmen are diverse in their levels of transition, taking hormones or not, opting to not have surgery or to have some and not others, testosterone injection has become on of the most culturally significant markers of trans masculinity. But Silveira knew that it would not serve his voice well. He tells About.com:
When I first realized that I wasn’t going to be able to go on T, I was very, very disappointed. Because I thought, finally, I’m going to be able to do this. But then I started doing the research and I discovered that it would do what it would do to my voice.
Essentially what testosterone does is it thickens your vocal cords. For about a two-and-a-half year period, you sound like a teenage boy going through puberty. Your voice is squeaky. As a singer, I know where placement is. I can go (he sings La, la, la, la, la) and if I took T and it started to modify my cords and I would go “La, la, la, la la” but it would come out “Ooahlagaya.” I can’t risk that. Because to me, my voice is number one. I couldn’t possibly deal with the fact that it could be damaged forever.
But Silveira has proved you can be a sexy man with or without a beard and wants to be a model of other trans guys who want to acknowledge their difference and their gender ambiguity.
I started thinking about that because I feel like, not only am I a voice for the trans community going out into mainstream, but there are guys like me. We’re they guys who are truly in the middle. I’ve had top surgery, but I’m not doing T. And to tell you the truth, I don’t know if I ever will. I feel very comfortable being where I am right now.
What do you think about Lucas being named Sexiest Man in Canada?