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“I love Nashville,” says Americana singer-songwriter Cidny Bullens, calling from his home in that city. “Nashville has always been completely supportive of me and who I am and what I’ve done. I have nothing negative to say about it, except the humidity! Otherwise, I’ve had a wonderful relationship with Nashville.”
Many artists say they love Nashville, but Bullens has a special appreciation for that city’s accepting atmosphere as he transitioned from the female gender to the male gender, a process he began nine years ago. On August 21, he will release Walkin’ Through This World, the first album he’s done as a man (his previous releases were under his former female name, Cindy Bullens).
The album’s evocative title track (with a corresponding video premiering here at American Songwriter) sums up the way Bullens feels about this transformation: “I think there comes a time in everyone’s later life when you realize you are who you are at the core, not much can change with the time you have left, and you had better accept it. I did that,” he says. “Three days later, at age 61, I threw that acceptance out the window and started from scratch. Over the last several years, I’ve emerged as a different gender, a different person, albeit with the same core -finally able to walk through this world ‘as exactly who I am.’”
While Bullens is thrilled to release Walkin’ Through This World, he admits that he didn’t take a straightforward path to creating it. For one thing, when he began the transition process, he found that it was difficult to translate his feelings into songwriting. “It was very difficult in the first year and a half of my transition because I wasn’t Cindy anymore, but I was not yet Cidny. I didn’t know who Cidny was really going to be. It was very disconcerting and scary. So I said, ‘I can’t go out into public as a musician, as a songwriter, until I know who I am.’”