Artist Transfem

Wendy Carlos

Wendy Carlos is a transfem composer that did soundtracks for multiple big movies, such as Tron, The Shining, and Clockwork Orange, and pioneered the use of synthesizers as musical instruments. Wendy’s album “Switched-On Bach” has won three Grammys, and was the album that proved that synthesizers could be a powerful instrument beyond being used simply for futuristic-sounding special effects. 

More Info:

  • Pronouns/gender: she/her, transfem
  • Albums/Soundtracks*: Switched-On Bach (1968), The Well-Tempered Synthesizer (1969), A Clockwork Orange soundtrack (1971), Sonic Seasonings (1972), Switched-On Bach II (1973), By Request (1975), The Shining soundtrack (1980), Switched-On Brandenburgs (1980), Tron soundtrack (1982), Digital Moonscapes (1984), Beauty In The Beast (1986), Secrets of Synthesis (1987), Peter & the Wolf (1988), Switched-On Bach 2000 (1992), Tales of Heaven and Hell (1998), Rediscovering Lost Scores, Volume 1 (2005), and Rediscovering Lost Scores, Volume 2 (2005).
  • Link to her website:

Life Story:

Wendy was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on November 14th, 1939, and had felt gender dysphoria since a very young age. At around age five or six, she told her parents that she strongly felt like a girl, and always loved having long hair and wearing feminine clothes, and was confused when her parents didn’t understand. While studying at Brown University, she went on a date with a girl, and felt extreme jealousy towards her date. 

Wendy didn’t begin to understand these confusing feelings until she first encountered the concept of being transgender during her later studies at Columbia University, when she studied transgender issues. She underwent therapy with Harry Benjamin, a prominent sexologist who specialized in transgender people, in 1967, and began hormone treatments in early 1968. This was the same year her career really took off when her album, Switched-On Bach, reached platinum sales, cemented the synthesizer as a legitimate instrument in the musical world, and would eventually win three Grammy awards. While this sudden success was nothing short of amazing, it created a new source of stress for Wendy as well, as she was terrified of revealing herself to the world as a trans woman (the hormone treatments had slowly been changing her appearance to one more feminine). When she was invited to perform some of her synth Bach covers live with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, she disguised herself as a man while on stage, slapping on fake sideburns, a wig, and drawn-on facial hair in a panic right before her performance. She would later hide the same way when meeting Stanley Kubrick and when she appeared as a guest star on The Dick Cavett Show.

After Switched-On Bach, she released The Well-Tempered Synthesizer, building on her previous methods, and made music for Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, which included synthesized singing, an unheard-of technique at the time. In 1972, Wendy had saved up enough from the success of Switched-On Bach that she was able to afford bottom surgery. 

Even after the surgery, Wendy wouldn’t reveal herself as trans until late 1978, during a series of interviews. She later said, in a magazine publication of these interviews, that she had always wanted to come out as trans, but had been extremely anxious to do so. As she said a couple years later, there wasn’t nearly as much an extreme public reaction as she was worried of. After these interviews were released to the public, she began releasing albums under her preferred name. 

Wendy continued on to compose other movie soundtracks after her work in A Clockwork Orange, such as those of The Shining and Tron. She made several new albums (listed above), and at one point worked with Weird Al Yankovic. 

She was officially recognized for her groundbreaking musical work in 2005, when she was given the SEAMUS 2005 Life Achievement Award. 


*Most of Wendy’s work can’t be found anywhere online, due to her dislike of music streaming services.

Artist Transfem

Maddy Thorson

Madeline Stephanie Thorson is the lead developer of the award winning indie game, Celeste!! She’s also worked on a few other games, such as TowerFall, and is currently the director of Extremely OK Games’s R&D department. Maddy is transfem, just like Celeste’s main character, Madeline, who’s name she adopted when she came out in 2020.

More Info:

  • Pronouns/gender: she/they, transfem
  • Notable Accomplishments: Lead developer of Celeste and TowerFall, current head of R&D for Extremely Okay Games, named one of the top “30 Under 30” game creators by Forbes in 2014.

Life Story:

Maddy was born on March 18, 1988. Her passion for game making began when she was fourteen, when her mom got her Game Maker, a simple game creation software, with which she created a few simple games while she was still in high school and college. These games were often very difficult, as she wanted to create an experience that forced the player to sharpen their skills to get through. Around this time, she started publishing her games under the name “Matt Makes Games”, an update from her previous alias, “Helix Games”.

Maddy studied computer science at Alberta, Canada’s Grande Prairie Regional College, hoping to join a big game studio, but soon shifted her goals when she realized she could make games without the help of a large studio. After graduating, she moved into a Vancouver apartment with a friend of hers, Chevy Ray Johnston, and started making games with him. They actually got a few of these published by Adult Swim Games as browser games on the company’s website.

While participating in a local game jam with her friend Alec Holowka, the two thought up a game where an out-of-shape archer tries to climb a tower, collecting treasure along the way. Rather than take this game to Adult Swim Games, they decided to continue working on with help from Johnston, evolving it into a multiplayer game where players, equipped with a bow, try to shoot eachother off a tower. This game would eventually become TowerFall, Maddy’s first game to be released on mainstream gaming platforms.

Upon realizing TowerFall’s potential, Johnston and Maddy moved into a nearby house and brought in other aspiring game developers to help them with future games. They did this in October of 2012 and called their new makeshift studio the “Indie House”. Maddy soon rebranded Matt Makes Games into “Matt Makes Games Inc”. Their friend Alex Holowka soon stepped down as co-creator of TowerFall to give Maddy the spotlight as it’s main creator, but still composed the game’s soundtrack. Eventually, TowerFall was released for an obscure console called the “Ouya” in 2013. A year later, the game was rereleased as TowerFall: Ascension for the mainstream gaming consoles. TowerFall was extremely successful, grossing over $500,000 USD in it’s first month alone.

In August of 2020, Maddy joined her fellow Matt Makes Games teammate Noel Berry in a four-day game jam, where they made a short game where the player embarks on a difficult climb up a mountain. After the game jam, having now seen the game’s potential, the Matt Makes Games team decided to build it into a fully realized game. Work began on the game in January 2016 and was released in January of 2018, becoming the award-winning indie hit “Celeste”. By the end of 2018, over 500,000 copies of the game had been sold.

In 2019, Maddy once again rebranded her company into Extremely Ok Games, or EXOK games, a name that recognizes that Maddy is not the only creative force in her company. Along with this name change came a change in location, where EXOK moved to a new set of offices in Vancouver, and brought some of their international teammates to Vancouver with them.

Maddy mentioned soon after that her first two games, Celeste and TowerFall would remain under the name Matt Makes Games, but the newly renamed team EXOK was already in the early stages of developing a new title. Within the next six months, the team had already worked through three prototypes of this new game, codenamed EXOK-1, EXOK-2, and EXOK-3. These prototypes, however, were, as Thorson stated, “too far from our (EXOK’s) comfort zone for them to realistically ever get finished”. Their fourth prototype, however, morphed into their first official product as team EXOK, announced in 2021 as Earthblade. This game is planned to be a Metroidvania* style game in a “seamless pixel art world”, and is set to release in 2024.

Around 2020, Maddy had realized her identity as a trans woman, in a journey that she said in a way mirrored Madeline’s journey of self-exploration in Celeste. Poetically, she gave herself the same first name as her also transfem character, Madeline. Maddy confirmed that Madeline’s identity is parallel to here’s in a blog post, shortly after the release of Celeste’s “Farewell” update, where Madeline is seen with a trans pride flag in her bedroom.


*a Metroidvania-style game is a game with a heavy focus on exploration, where the player must find upgrades and new items to allow them to access new areas. These games are usually, but not always, side scrolling, and very commonly have difficult combat. The genre gets it’s name from a combination of the names of two games that essentially created the genre, Super Metroid, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. A few other notable games of the genre include Hollow Knight, Blasphemous, and Cave Story.


Artist Band Nonbinary

Glass Beach

Link to their website:


Glass Beach is an indie rock band with inspiration from all over the place and an energy that’s absolutely electric. They have several songs about the genderqueer experience, which come off as being very personal, as three out of the four members are nonbinary! They have only one album to date, accurately titled “the first glass beach album”, which was released just recently in 2019, and re-released in 2020.

Albums: “the first glass beach album” (2019), “Alchemist Rats Beg Bashful” (2021)

Singles: “1015” (2020), “running” (2020), “classic j dies and million streams on spotify” (2020), “beach life in death” (2021), and “welcome to the black parade” (2021, cover of song by My Chemical Romance)


  • J McClendon: Glass Beach’s main vocalist, songwriter, producer, and mixing engineer, who also plays keyboard and guitar! They’ve been making music their whole life, and started recording it at age 13. They performed with several other bands and created several solo albums under the name “Casio Dad”. J’s is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns.
  • William White: William is currently the drummer for Glass Beach, and also produces and plays a variation of other instruments for other music groups. William met Jonas, who would later be Glass Beach’s bassist, and moved to LA in 2016, where they moved in with Jonas and their roommate, and Jonas’s roommate, J. Together, they created Glass Beach, which would be William’s first time drumming for a band. William uses they/them pronouns.
  • Jonas Newhouse: Jonas is the bassist for Glass Beach, and also works on theatre productions and streams tabletop RPG games on Twitch. Before being in Glass Beach, Jonas released several solo albums in their teenage years under the name Zed, and started the band 8-bit Johnson with William when they met them in college. 
  • Layne Smith: Layne plays several instruments for Glass Beach, after joining the band in 2020, a couple years after it was formed by J, Jonas, and William in 2016. Layne has worked with several other groups, being a pianist, bassist, and “pseudo-drummer”. Layne has a degree in audio engineering, and now does some freelance audio engineering, studio recording and mixing, post-production, and has created some solo music as well.

More information on them can be found on their website, linked above, please give it a look to 


  • J also has a solo album, all clumped into one video, posted on the Glass Beach YouTube, titled “jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj”. It consists of alot of little songs, mostly instrumental and chiptune, that J made by themself during the 2020 quarantine, just to keep them busy. The album definitely has that “losing my mind of boredom in 2020” kind of energy!
  • This is my favorite band ever!! Their vibe is so funky and energetic and every song they have is such a banger!!! The lyrics is their songs are so impactful to me, and the way they use their music to sing about the transgender experience is so so cool and special!!!!! –Sylvie