Singer-Songwriter • Activist • Writer

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A natural-born storyteller with the polish of an accomplished actress and the authentic edge of a seasoned blues musician.

Seattle Weekly


Featured Track: “I wanna see you be brave.”

Music is the art form we turn to when we need to build bridges and make ourselves plainly understood.

In January 2020, the United States was in crisis. The president was holding vital defense support to Ukraine hostage as a means of coercing their government into investigating the son of a political rival.

My civil disobedience action inside the Senate’s Russell Rotunda – performing Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” in an area where protest is strictly forbidden – was a call on Republican Senators to join Democrats in voting to remove that corrupt president from office.

More Music

Everyone You’ll Be EP • Studio Album Release Date: Feb 2024
Home demos…

Tae Phoenix · The Girls You'll Be Demos
Deep Cuts

Tour Dates

Boston8/7/23TBABerklee Performance Center*
Boston8/8/233:30pmCafe 939
New York8/14/236pmRockwood Music Hall
Washington, DC8/17/232-4pmWOWD Radio
Reston, VA8/18/236pmLake Anne Plaza
* I am a backup singer as part of a larger ensemble.

Bio / Artist Statement

My name is Tae Phoenix and my favorite party game is “two truths and a lie.” See if you can guess which is which:

The answer is in the footer of the website.

My work is about themes that everyone can relate to on some level: rejecting conformity, embracing authenticity, and finding the connections between healing ourselves and building the world we want.

Sometimes, when I’m stuck on where a musical idea belongs, I’ll write lyrics from the perspective of a fictional character and see where that takes me. I love this approach because I tend to obsess over stories: telling them, absorbing them, analyzing them. It doesn’t really matter as long as I’m immersed. I’ve written songs that started out as screenplays and the beginnings of musicals that I originally thought were novels. It all makes me ridiculously happy.

My favorite thing about using music as a storytelling vehicle is that a well-timed and well-written song can convey a tremendous amount of information just with the placement of a quarter note rest. I learned this the first time I performed in a Sondheim show. (“Into the Woods.”) I looked at the score, thought, “wow! It’s turtles all the way down, “and never looked back.

The performing arts world is a wonderful place for many reasons, but it’s also not an easy space for me to enter. As an Autistic, I get easily overwhelmed by loud, chaotic environments like music clubs. In a people-oriented business, missing a social cue, facial expression, or change in tone of voice can have implications that aren’t always obvious in the moment. One of my goals as I work in this space is to build more inclusive and accessible spaces for “neuro-spicy” artists and our supporters.



Music & Lyric Videos

On Sexual Violence and Post-Traumatic Stress

I originally wrote this guide for my Indivisible group so that we could participate in the #MeToo conversation in a trauma-informed way. This post was meant to be short, so it doesn’t touch on the realities of sexual assault as it impacts men and non-binary folks as much as I would like. At some point, I will write a longer version of this.

I’m not a mental health professional, but I am a survivor of sexual violence and a post-traumatic stress sufferer in long-term recovery, so much of this is gleaned from my own personal experience. 

Post-traumatic stress occurs when a person has an experience or series of experiences of other people breaking the basic human social contract. It can also occur in the aftermath of a natural disaster, but for the purposes of this discussion, the former is where we’ll focus.

When a person suffers a post-traumatic stress injury, they sustain observable, lasting changes in their brain structure and functioning. Brain activity in areas responsible for memory, fight-flight responses, emotional regulation, and interpersonal relationships changes in ways that leave the sufferer with a severely limited toolkit for handling stressful situations, especially when those situations trigger (or evoke memories of) the original trauma.

These brain changes can be healed with trauma-informed therapy, but it takes a long time and is a lot of painful work. Loved ones and community members must be patient and validating with trauma sufferers as they go through their recovery process; and this is especially important because interpersonal trauma can only be healed interpersonally. That means that survivors need trustworthy relationships, both in therapy and in their lives, in which they can process what they have experienced.

Rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment are part of a larger web of patriarchal barriers that make it harder for women to participate fully in the world. Childhood sexual abuse affects one in four American girls and often sets women up for confusion about boundaries and low self-worth, which can put them at greater risk for further rape and sexual assault as adults. The traumatic brain changes that take place after sexual violence also prevent survivors from taking risks in other areas of their lives, so their careers and prospects for healthy relationships can suffer as well.

When we discuss the issue of sexualized violence – as is happening with #MeToo – we will inevitably interact with those who have experienced it. Regardless of our own feelings or opinions about the specific case we are discussing, it is crucial that we validate and center the stories of those who are coming forward. Slut shaming, victim blaming, and “benefit of the doubt” postings can all re-traumatize survivors.

This does not mean we have to squash dialog about the issue or that we must immediately vilify the accused in the strongest possible terms, it just means that we have to prioritize having compassion for traumatized people over quickly arriving at a concrete, logical conclusion about the specifics of the story we are discussing.

My rule for conversations (online and off) about a trauma-related subject is: when in doubt, slow things down. If a conversation about this topic is getting heated or someone is getting triggered, invite the folks you’re talking with to return to the conversation in an hour so you can all do some self-care and let your nervous systems return to baseline. (This might take longer for some folks, so sometimes a longer cooling off period is appropriate.)

Finally, remember that text is a poor means of communication. We tend to read negative intention into neutral language when it is not accompanied by body language and other social cues. This will color how you experience online interactions, which is why slowing down is especially useful for online and other text-based conversations.

Emotional Labor

Writing songs, speeches, and essays, researching and synthesizing information, and organizing and performing at protests are all emotional labor. Please consider making a contribution to my work.


2 responses to “On Sexual Violence and Post-Traumatic Stress3 min read

  1. LOVE THIS TAE!! TY SO MUCH! Praying for you! #METOO! I’ve shared this on fb with the #METOO hashtag and on my WordPress! Also, I’ve done LOTS of shows on my YouTube channel on my experience of overcoming sexual trauma and PTSD that you will LOVE! TY for writing and thank you in advance for your support!! Love & prayers, YOU ARE WORTH IT! (& you KNOW it, so THANK YOU Tae!!) God bless you! OOXOX

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