In 1966, The Who released the single “I’m a Boy,” which was originally set to be part of a rock opera set in a future where parents are able to choose the sex of their children. The song is about a family who “orders” four girls, but accidentally receives three girls and one boy.
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The boy dreams of asserting his real sexual identity as a male, but his mother forces him to act like a girl and refuses to believe that he’s not. Now, guitarist Pete Townshend has spoken about the connection between the song and his own experiences.
The Who guitarist was interviewed by Rock Cellar Magazine and said that at the time of the song’s release in 1966, he would have been involved with anyone regardless of their biological sex, gender, or gender identity.
“With ‘I’m A Boy’ it’s the idea of masculinity and the way that men are seen to be at a time when I often forget, to be homosexual, to be pansexual, as I think I probably was, but not anymore,” Townshend said.
“But I think I was ready to fall into bed with anybody that would have me,” he added.
Townshend continued: “I think I forget that homosexuality was still illegal in the U.K., so these adventures had to be couched in vignettes of humor and irony.”
While The Who never released “I’m a Boy” on a studio album, the song appeared on the 1995 reissue of the band’s first live album Live at Leeds.
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