I wouldn’t say that a ukulele saved my life.
But I will tell you that I’ve strummed my way through my feelings over the years. When I lived alone in a new city I would fill my studio apartment with any song I wanted. When I worked in an office, I played the same song standing on the balcony every morning to steel myself for the day. I’ve played in streets and subways and parks. I’ve changed lyrics to songs to make them gayer, cried along to some that were already gay and worked out the chords to tiny queer youtuber creations.
The thing about the ukulele is that it is a friendly, forgiving instrument. When I put it down for months, my fingers fumble upon picking it up again, but I can always get something out. It’s so easy to learn, so cheap to obtain and yet the possibility for emotional expression it opens up is unbelievable. I’ve played drums, piano, violin, but none of them ever made me feel anything the way singing along to my tiny musical companion does. It’s got that brain-chemical thing going for it, too.
I’ve linked some songs I play through this article, but here’s the big boss that encouraged me to go out, buy a ukulele and just start playing:
So my action for trans health today is offering to teach you how to play the ukulele, if you want.