David Seeders writes about his experience taking guitar lessons in “Giant Dreams, Midget Ablest” after his father decided that he and his younger sisters should start a family music group. However, Sedans has no desire to learn how to play guitar. His desire lies within singing jingles in the voice of Billie Holiday. Seeders’ desire to sing in the voice of Billie Holiday is probably closely related to his sexual orientation, being gay, and his father’s passion for Jazz music. There Is an Implication of femininity in Seeders’ desire to mimic Billie Holidays voice.
Billie Holiday was an American Jazz singer whose career took off In the sass. Some would find It peculiar as to why any young boy would want to Imitate the voice of one who was generally regarded as one of the greatest female jazz vocalists. Seeders first introduces his homosexuality in the first essay of his book, Me Talk Pretty One Day, when he talks about the boys in his speech therapy class: “None of the therapy students were girls. They were all boys like me who kept movie star scrapbooks and made their own curtains… Baking scones and cupcakes for school Janitors, watching
Gulden Light with our mothers, collecting rose petals for use In a fragrant potpourri: anything worth doing turned out to be a girl thing. In order to enjoy ourselves, we learned to be duplicitous. Our stacks of Cosmopolitan were topped with an unread issue of Boys Life or Sports Illustrated… ” (p. 9) Since society usually sees hobbies such as baking and collecting flowers as domestic and thus feminine as opposed to more masculine hobbies such as sports, Seeders kept his hobbles discreet by masking them with hobbles that were more socially acceptable for boys.
In “Great Dreams, Midget Abilities”, Seeders eventually lets go of his fantasy of singing in the voice of Billie Holiday when his guitar teacher, Mr.. Manic, takes offense to his a chapel version of an Oscar Mayer commercial, calling him a “screwball” and saying he wasn’t “into that scene” (p. 29). Seeders writes, ” … That’s what fantasies are for: they allow you to skip the degradation and head straight to the top. I’d done my solo and would now move on to pursue other equally unsuccessful ways of getting attention. ” Singing In the voice of Billie Holiday seemed to be one of the few ways
Seeders thought he could express his feminine side comfortably. Unfortunately for him, being shot down by Manic caused him to dispose of such a dream. Seeders’ desire to sing like Billie Holiday can also be linked to his father’s passion for jazz music. HIS father loved Jazz music almost to the point of obsessive- compulsiveness, where he’d sit down and analyze each note and the timing of the jazz songs playing on his record player, and although Seeders claims to also love jazz, it wasn’t enough to convince his father. “Because it was the music we’d grown up tit, I liked to think that my sisters and I had a genuine appreciation of jazz.
We preferred it over the music our friends were listening to, yet nothing we did or said could convince my father of our devotion,” (p. 17) writes Seeders. Singing like Billie Holiday might have been a way for Seeders to be closer to his father, or at least allow controversy about homosexuals, Seeders probably wasn’t open about his sexuality with his father, thus not feeling close to him. In singing in the style of Billie Holiday, one could assume that it could be appreciated by any lover of Jazz, such as Seeders’ father.