November 22, 2023
EDGE Interview: Queen Sir JET, Defining 'Male Femininity' for the Past Decade
Timothy Rawles READ TIME: 5 MIN.
Queen Sir JET is not afraid to talk about her past. Not in the least. That might be surprising considering she (preferred pronoun) says she's socially introverted. More surprising still is that she is an adult movie actress. How can a self-proclaimed shy performer be so open about her life and involved in an industry that isn't discreet? She is a muscle fem top pop star and it all started with a song.
Her name comes from combining several things, an air of British valor and the acronym of her birth name, "The original --- just Sir JET --- was given to me by a former manager at the time when like Lady Gaga was really popular," she tells EDGE of the origins of her persona. "So they wanted like that whole British royalty thing in it. And JET's my initials; my name is Joel Evan Tye." The concept was that she could be everyone's knight in shining armor. "I added the 'Queen' like a few years ago because I wanted like a contrast between the old me and the new me."
That journey started when she released the track and video for "Shout Out to the Lonely," from her first EP. It's a thumping infectious club anthem that emboldens listeners to never stop looking for love just because someone rejects you for being you: "I'm wasted but I'll never stop igniting from the circumstance" the song goes.
The accompanying video is also kind of a social "coming out" for Sir JET. It starts with her presenting as a rugged male ranch hand dressed in jeans, a plaid shirt, and a white tank top, with huge chest and arm muscles bulging in every direction. It progresses into a dancing solo in the mesa. She is wearing stiletto boots, fishnet stockings, and a Swarovski crystal-encrusted neck cuff. It seems to be the soundtrack to her hatching chrysalis where she emerges like a genderfluid debutante. It's a heavy song, but one of strength. It should have gotten more airplay.
Talking with EDGE, Sir JET explains that her creativity started at a young age. She used to play with dolls as a child, dressing them and experimenting with style. "When I became an adult, I became my own doll, but it was always a question of like, how much am I able to decorate myself versus, you know, a doll?"
At first, she wasn't able to explore any of that.
"I'd say, like the first ten years of my career was very much controlled by whoever I was working with," she recalls. "They would say you can wear a tight shirt, but you can't put ribbons on it, sort of thing. You, can wear platform shoes, but they have to be men's shoes. And it really wasn't until around when I was in my late twenties, early thirties that I gained complete control over my image, and that was when I kind of broke free and I started becoming the very dolls I used to play with, but with my muscular body."
That body takes three hours a day, six days a week to keep in shape, it's an important part of her well-being and brand. Her latest song "Male Femininity" really expresses that. Gender queerness is front and center in both the lyrics and the video. Just like in "Shout Out to the Lonely," she uses her male body to accentuate the gowns and jewelry. But this time there is freedom to her lyrics. "I'm gonna be who I am respect the girl that I've turned into...even if my life offends you." She says the song is a callback to her costly first single.
"I put so much effort into that project that I accumulated quite a bit of debt," she says, "And that was when I left L.A., I moved back in with my parents and spent a good many years working as a normal person trying to earn money." That didn't work out so she transitioned into adult entertainment. "I finally got out of debt by doing porn and Only Fans. I think that heavily influenced the music too because both of those experiences forced me to look at myself in a different way other than a diva goddess."
She adds that during that time she also had to "be a boy," which brought her down, "but also showed me a whole other perspective of who I am because I was never like a super sexual person prior to doing porn. And it all started coming out because it was a performance. It wasn't hard or anything and it wasn't scary, but it was new."
The narrative of "Male Femininity" is grounded on those times she says.
"A lot of those lyrics are pretty much based on me, like wanting to express myself, but being constantly told, 'no, you also have to be a boy,' and I'm like, no, screw you!"
That rebellious nature against gender conformity started back in pre-school for Sir JET. During recess, there were piles of toys, one for boys and one for girls. She always gravitated toward the "girl" things but was constantly told no because she wasn't a girl, "well, are, are you sure about that?" she remembers asking.
"You know, I, I knew at a young age these people can't be right if I'm feeling like I'm more of a girl than a boy. They didn't have those terms when I was young. So, I was in therapy, and I was describing how I experienced things and the doctor would say, 'Oh, you have gender dysmorphia, here's some antidepressants.'"
Years later, after moving away, Sir JET would meet someone who understood what she was going through. It was a watershed moment, and nothing would ever the same, not stylistically, not emotionally.
"I met a friend of mine who was designing underwear at the time," she recalls. "I went to audition for his underwear shows to be one of his models. And he said, 'I bet you like high heels.' And I said, 'I've never worn them,' and he brought out a pair and I put them on. I was like, oh, these really hurt but I like them. It's little by little you learn more about yourself and who you are and it's like the person that you are physically isn't necessarily who you are mentally; they don't always match."
Now that she has become the person she always wanted to be and taken her rightful place in the entertainment industry, Sir JET is far from being done. Along with her new single "Male Femininity" she is also keeping busy with her Only Fans content. As for what is next in music, that depends.
"I'm just, you know, working little by little just seeing what I can get," she says. "I mean, the producer and I, we have some like songs half-finished and there might be an EP in the future. It's just, it's always a question of can I afford it because yeah, everything keeps getting more and more expensive."
"Male Femininity" is being distributed by So Fierce Music and is available now on Apple Music, Spotify, and all digital platforms.