Jimi Gee, Gender Bender at Large
Interview With Jimi Gee, Gender Bender at Large
by Laurie Mirkin
In this world where everyone wants to look the same, dress in trendy styles and are really not concerned about having any original ideas, when Jimi walks into the room, you have to look, long and hard. A combination of Cher and Alice Cooper in clothes and makeup, Jimi can be flamboyant one minute and quietly reserved, the next. One thing is for sure: when you meet him, you know you’ve met someone AMAZING! The more we talked, the more enchanted I was.
Jimi comes from Queens, and Long Island, New York. He always loved music and decided, exactly on February 9th, 1964, when he saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show that he was going to be himself and express himself with his hair, clothing and makeup. So he dresses just the way he wants to and that makes him feel free. He loves makeup and wears it well. I was jealous at the way he applied his mascara to almost look like false eyelashes. His students and parents of students are crazy about Jimi. He’s a gender bender and none of that gets in the way of him being one of the best music teachers in the Sarasota / Bradenton area.
Have a kid who doesn’t like to learn? Here’s a teacher who illicits excitement about music and where everyone gets to play a part. Kids come to him for help, advice, and mentoring. Although his main love is the acoustic guitar, I’ve seen Jimi play almost
every instrument on the stage. His main influences were the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. His first band was in 6th grade and they were called the Psychedelic 5. In 7th grade he won most of the talent shows. It was his finest hour when Jimi took over for a music teacher a few years ago, in a school on Anna Maria Island. He completely reorganized an unmotivated bunch of kids by teaching them to play rock music. At the end of his stint there, he was asked to come back and finish out the school year.
From there he headed up many fundraisers where his kids took first prize and won the Grand Champion Award, showing off their stuff with 6 solos. When you watch Jimi talk about his kids you can see the pride and elation he has, and you just know that he has helped the confidence of many, many kids. I don’t know about you, but I would have loved to have a teacher in high school who would have excited me to learn and encouraged me to accomplish something great.
Jimi knows he’s a natural-born teacher. He teaches guitar, mandolin, drums, woodwinds, and basic guitar for Adult Education classes. His love is mentoring kids who are having a hard time feeling at home in their own bodies. Jimi has Gender Identity Disorder, which means he feels better and more himself in women’s clothes. He isn’t gay, which is a misconception about men who wear women’s clothes. Jimi’s been married twice; once for 22 years and once for 14 years, and has a 29 year old son as well as a teenage son at home. He’s played with a variety of national acts, on Cruise ships, at resorts, clubs of all kind, and schools. I’m sure there are many more venues Jimi has furnished music for, far too many to list here. Please make note that Jimi teaches at the Guitar Center on University, which he loves, and wanted to say that they hired him even though he’s not your every day guy. In fact, he’s just so much better than your average ho-hum teacher that your kids will be thrilled to learn from him.
If I had one point to offer about Jimi Gee that makes him who he is, it would be his particular gift of making people feel comfortable and wanting to learn. Life is difficult enough for us so-called “normies”, but any pain or upset that has occurred in his life, he’s taken and used to make that very moment he’s in, an unforgettable one. You can feel the love in his heart a mile away. They don’t make teachers like Jimi anymore!