Rascal Miles (he/they) opens “Tailor-Made” with a quiet, vulnerable, almost clinical description of filling out the paperwork they needed for their gender-affirming top surgery. Their trepidation and excitement float to the surface of the metaphor-heavy lyrics. At one point they describe feeling like a butterfly returning to a synthetic cocoon—terror tinged with hesitant hope for this transition.
“I shed my skin,” they gently sing. It’s scary, but just like a snake, they’re becoming a stronger version of themselves. As the chorus of “oohs” interjects, there’s comfort in those background voices. No matter how alone you feel, there is a whole community backing you.
While the lyrics are based on Rascal Miles’ own experience, they wanted “Tailor-Made” to be an anthem to pave the way for “genderqueer kids from small backwards towns.” Those background “oohs” feel just as personal, like the support they wish they had when they walked into that office.
As they slip into anesthesia, the bridge begins and the surgery starts. The surgeon is “leveling mountains with dynamite sticks until I’m a blank slate of marble.” And while the surgery made them “tailor-made,” they’ve always been true. The process only made that visible.
Stream “Tailor-Made” below.
Ben is an advertising Madman who spends his days with words and music. When he’s not writing for his supper, he’s eating it at some of NYC’s most interesting restaurants.