4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Steam Powered Giraffe’s Rabbit transition

Steampunk character’s upgrade mirrors creator

Steam Powered Giraffe: transitioning members, unchanging fanbase.
Steam Powered Giraffe: transitioning members, unchanging fanbase.

“I had a brand and a character that looks very different from the character I portray now,” says Isabella Bennett, who plays Rabbit, one of the musical steampunk robots in Steam Powered Giraffe. The band character transitioned from male to female in 2014, mirroring Bennett’s real-life transition. “It was a big change and, honestly, one for the better, I think, ‘cause I’m in a better place and it hasn’t hurt our [online popularity] numbers at all. Rolling Stone did an article [on singer Laura Jane Grace, who also transitioned publicly] that was floating around at the time. It made it easier, seeing other trans people out and about on the internet, doing, like, video blogs saying, ‘Hey, I’m out here, this is what I did,’ and eventually I think it just kind of cracked through my egg and I was able to hatch, finally.”

The character of Rabbit often broke down and malfunctioned, requiring upgrades and parts reflected with makeup and costume revisions. It’s easy to draw a parallel between Bennett’s pre-transition struggles and Rabbit’s, but the role-playing universe created by SPG goes beyond such armchair observations. Aside from playing multiple instruments, portraying the band’s Giraffe puppet on stage, and doing humorous MST3K-style film commentary on Instagram, Bennett writes most of the lore for the band and illustrates comic books that spin the band’s steampunk backstory. The comment sections online and in print reveal an emotional connection to SPG fans that made the transition celebratory.

“It makes sense that we have a supportive and progressively minded fanbase, because it’s what our whole thing is. Wholesomeness and feeling kind of like an outsider and telling people that it’s okay to be different, it’s okay to be yourself. Hang on to that hope, hang on to your heart, and never let that deviate, because the world needs some good-hearted people.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

La Jolla Art & Wine Festival, The Harvest Festival

Events October 8-October 12, 2022
Next Article

L.A.Times reporters knock Patrick Soon-Shiong's daughter

Blocking of Illumina-Grail deal casts cloud on Scott Peters money raising
Steam Powered Giraffe: transitioning members, unchanging fanbase.
Steam Powered Giraffe: transitioning members, unchanging fanbase.

“I had a brand and a character that looks very different from the character I portray now,” says Isabella Bennett, who plays Rabbit, one of the musical steampunk robots in Steam Powered Giraffe. The band character transitioned from male to female in 2014, mirroring Bennett’s real-life transition. “It was a big change and, honestly, one for the better, I think, ‘cause I’m in a better place and it hasn’t hurt our [online popularity] numbers at all. Rolling Stone did an article [on singer Laura Jane Grace, who also transitioned publicly] that was floating around at the time. It made it easier, seeing other trans people out and about on the internet, doing, like, video blogs saying, ‘Hey, I’m out here, this is what I did,’ and eventually I think it just kind of cracked through my egg and I was able to hatch, finally.”

The character of Rabbit often broke down and malfunctioned, requiring upgrades and parts reflected with makeup and costume revisions. It’s easy to draw a parallel between Bennett’s pre-transition struggles and Rabbit’s, but the role-playing universe created by SPG goes beyond such armchair observations. Aside from playing multiple instruments, portraying the band’s Giraffe puppet on stage, and doing humorous MST3K-style film commentary on Instagram, Bennett writes most of the lore for the band and illustrates comic books that spin the band’s steampunk backstory. The comment sections online and in print reveal an emotional connection to SPG fans that made the transition celebratory.

“It makes sense that we have a supportive and progressively minded fanbase, because it’s what our whole thing is. Wholesomeness and feeling kind of like an outsider and telling people that it’s okay to be different, it’s okay to be yourself. Hang on to that hope, hang on to your heart, and never let that deviate, because the world needs some good-hearted people.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Ammar Campa-Najjar hops districts and John McCann hires a private eye

Who’s more desperate to win the Chula Vista mayor’s race?
Next Article

Ground fogs blanket coastal zones, Hunter Moon rises on October 9

Dew decorates spider webs
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close