Shawna Virago is celebrated as a transgender pioneer in music, filmmaking and activism. Miss Virago is a singer/songwriter whose music twists together roots rock and folk-punk, creating anthems for a new generation. A transsexual feminist icon for the Twenty First Century, Virago is a wordsmith in the troubadour tradition whose songs are slice-of-life windows into queer and transgender life. Her piercing observations about survival in a predatory world, sticking up for the underdog, queer love and gender outlaws are backed by the bittersweetness of her steady acoustic guitar.
Virago has a raging sweetness and raw humor that seduces the listener into joining the trans/gender revolution. Her performances are celebrated for their compelling mix of original songs, storytelling and stand-up. A longtime favorite in San Francisco’s underground transgender music scene, Virago is widely celebrated as a gifted lyricist and edgy provocateur. Her songs range from folk-punk to acoustic glam twang, with a dash of naughty queer Americana – with exceptional lyrics that range from sexy to sarcastic, polemic to political, haunting to heartfelt.
Virago’s lyrics dig deep at police brutality, the economic marginalization of transgender people and life lived on the sweet continuum of being trans. Virago is brimming with contradictions and complexities: once a punk rock boy, now a sexy blonde, she channels a DIY aesthetic as a guitar-slinging Candy Darling. The San Francisco Bay Times said, “if Keith Richards was a tranny that got together with Merle Haggard, Shawna Virago would be their love child.”