Today, November 20, is Transgender Day of Remembrance. To commemorate this day, Portland’s Shaylee, whose frontwoman Elle Archer is transgender herself, are releasing “Audrey,” a nearly six-and-a-half-minute ballad that reckons with loss due to transphobic violence.
“I never personally met Audrey,” Archer told FLOOD. “She was introduced to me after her passing, when my ex-girlfriend Buffy came home visibly distraught about her old friend’s disappearance. She told me that Audrey was a talented multi-instrumentalist, and a trans woman like us both. I immediately felt a strong spiritual kinship with her even though we’d never met in real life, as if we would have been friends in another life.
“That night, Buffy and I co-wrote this song about her lost friend,” she continues, “with her contributing the main riff, and me contributing the lyrics and melody. In the coming months, I learned more about Audrey through her friends who shared their memories with me, and the idea to drop the song on Trans Day of Remembrance popped up in my head. This is my attempt to extend a hand of solidarity to any and all of my trans siblings going through it right now, whether it’s the threat of transphobic violence or your own will to stick around diminishing, I’m here to say I get it, your feelings are real and valid, and you’re not alone.”
Listen to “Audrey” below. For more info on Trans Day of Remembrance and a list of orgs and resources pertaining to trans rights, GLAAD has you covered.