James Mackin | Contributor
Featured image courtesy of The New Yorker
When you realize you love somebody, how do you express that love? Some want to make love; some want to embrace their lover; some may even want to create a new life by having a child. My hero of the LGBTQ+ community is someone who chose to create a new life, but not by making a child; instead, they remade themselves and their partner.
Genesis P-Orridge is a British musician who was born as a man. After several years working with the COUM Transmissions Art Collective, they formed a band known as Throbbing Gristle. The band is famous for creating the genre known as industrial, and for being a major inspiration to groups like Nine Inch Nails and Death Grips. They also led several other groups including Thee Majesty and Psychic TV.
In the early 1990s, they met a dominatrix in New York called Jacqueline Breyer, who went by the name Lady Jaye. They fell in love and got married. They lived, they laughed, they loved. They dropped acid together and walked the streets of New York, both wearing go-go boots. They moved in together in Queens, and they decided to embark on a project in which they made their new life.
They called it the ‘Pandrogeny Project’. Over the course of 14 years, they underwent several surgeries to look like each other. Genesis got C cup breast implants, and Lady Jaye got the nose of P-Orridge. After a while, it became hard to tell the difference between the two based on appearance. Genesis was Lady Jaye, and Lady Jaye was P-Orridge; more importantly, they were one being. Their pronouns were ‘they/them,’ and they combined their surnames for their new name, Breyer P-Orridge.
In doing so, they lost their sense of selves. They weren’t a couple, but a single entity. They referred to themselves as ‘we,’ but it was okay.
Out of the ashes of industrial music and sexy dominatrixes was born a new being: a pandrogyne.
For years, they lived as one, playing in new bands and reunions, enjoying the hot summers and cold winters of New York. Many people in this world try to force us into a binary. Everything is either/or — we’re yin, or we’re yang. P-Orridge and Lady Jaye decided not to be either yin or yang, but both. They defied the odds and societal standards, and they made a happy life for themselves as one.
Lady Jaye unfortunately passed away in 2007, but the ‘Pandrogeny Project’ continued. P-Orridge lives on, and continued the surgeries. Lady Jaye may have passed away, but their spirit lives on in their partner, and their features live on the body of P-Orridge.
Lady Jaye was imprisoned by her gender, but through her love with P-Orridge, they broke free of gender, sex, and society’s standards of love.