Here Are Your 5 New Favorite Gay Musicians

By: Daniel Villarreal

Carletta Sue Kay

FROM: San Francisco, California

SOUNDS LIKE: The gentler, operatic orphan of The Violent Femmes

PLAY THIS NOW: "Pas Le Meme"

A 47-year-old man in an uncombed wig and thrift store dress might not sound like your ticket to a great performance. But then again, perhaps you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Carletta Sue Kay.

Kay is the musical persona of San Francisco resident Randy Walker. And whether she's singing about heartbreak in Paris, the futility of love songs or being ugly on the inside, Kay has a powerful voice and incisive lyrics that can lift hearts, bring laughter and then bring audiences to tears — no seriously, it's that good.

Walker actually took her performance name from his "sad but super funny," drug-addicted cousin and creates the music as if it's coming from a woman and not himself.

Walker told, "The voice of Carletta is not my authentic singing voice. I’m affecting a 'female” voice."

She added, "If (transgender people) listen to my music and watch my performance, they’d know that I’m not taking the piss. I have an actual trans-identified person in my band [Sonny, her FTM bassist who also does piano and backup vocals]."

Considering the immense power of her voice, it's kind of unfortunate that after nearly seven years of performing Kay only just released her debut album Incongruent last year.

And it's equally unfortunate that it doesn't include her teenage-angsty tune about a "post-apocalyptic, pseudo-narcissistic stupid love song" — it's a hoot.

But her album does include the heart-slaying song "Pas Le Meme" which is a must-hear (below). And she's also working on a second album tentatively titled Monsters, which may include the aforementioned "love song" — fingers crossed.