ENCOUNTER: Understanding Homelessness & Its Hidden Barriers

The forty-pound backpack, which hadn’t seemed all that debilitating when I first put it on, was growing increasingly heavier the harder and faster I pedalled. And the harder and faster I pedalled, the more cumbersome the enormous hiking pack was becoming, and the wearier I was starting to feel.

But I had to keep pedalling. Because the instant I stopped, we would be enveloped in darkness, and my Encounter buddy Kit Watson (who was struggling to locate a specific housing form in a stack of about twenty) would be too.

The symbolism of this room wasn’t lost on us: a metaphor to simultaneously represent both the desperate desire to keep pushing despite exhaustion, and the fear that your hopes of a warm home may be dashed in an instant due to circumstances far beyond your own control…

I’d been lucky enough to be invited by a friend of mine at Union Gospel Mission in Vancouver to experience their latest project, ENCOUNTER: an educational, interactive experience (modelled after the ever-popular escape rooms) to help us understand the hidden barriers and obstacles faced by homeless Vancouverites and others worldwide. The project is co-hosted by UGM and EXIT Canada, and developed with formerly-homeless folk (who I found out are paid for their time, which is awesome!) working hand-in-hand with the volunteers and staff to create an immersive learning experience that mirrors a much colder reality.

The fact that I was slightly shaken as I clambered up onto the bike was probably to blame for me being so quick to fatigue. But hey, that’s no excuse. The streets don’t give a shit if you’re tired. They don’t give a shit if you’re anxious or hungry or still smarting from something you experienced five minutes ago. The streets can be cruel and unrelenting for those who are forced to weather them… and, as we had already learned in the room we’d escaped immediately before, the physical and mental barriers you often aren’t even aware exist can hold you back from doing things that otherwise seem pretty damn effortless.

Continue reading “ENCOUNTER: Understanding Homelessness & Its Hidden Barriers”

#MentalHealthAwarenessDay: I Need To Come Clean

This #MentalHealthAwarenessDay, there are some things I feel I owe my friends and fans: an apology, an explanation, and a little spark of light.

I’m going to be pretty brutally honest during this lengthy post… and I want to make it clear I’m not looking for attention or pity. Just understanding. So thanks for bearing with me.

For the last nine years, I’ve only been operating as a musician, artist, and person at about 30% capacity. For the longest time, since my diagnosis at twenty, I thought it was because of my autism, and perhaps even my chronic depression.

I hit twenty-four and things started to go downhill fast. I no longer received joy or excitement for the things I cared about, and my anxiety was rapidly increasing to a point where I couldn’t follow through with any task or project I started – as I’m sure a lot of you have noticed or been on the receiving end of (merch, cosplay groups, and long drawn-out waits for singles to be released to name just a few).

The depression and anxiety continued to worsen until I was at my breaking point. I attempted suicide on my way home from an anime convention in 2016, by trying to throw myself out of the car on the highway. I nearly joined the 27 Club alongside Jimi, Janis, Kurt, Amy, Anton, and more. Daily (no exaggeration), I thank whatever power that may or may not exist that Kit was in the car next to me, and that she was able to both wrestle me down into my seat and take the next exit at the same time.

This was the absolute zenith of my downward spiral: this was when my immediate road team and I both realized how low I had sunk, and how desperate the situation had become.

Continue reading “#MentalHealthAwarenessDay: I Need To Come Clean”

OMG, LEGACY drops online in less than 5 DAYS!!!

SURPRISE! And happy Thursday!

As a fun pick-me-up right before the weekend, we would like to take the opportunity to announce that the new band’s first single, LEGACY, will be dropping online for download in less than FIVE DAYS OMG!!!

A lot of hard work and patience has gone into the recording and release of this track – from Dave and I speed-writing this track and deciding to just perform it acoustically a day or two later at Matsuricon 2016, to spending an entire weekend recording last fall in Chicago with the much-appreciated help of a whole slew of musician friends up there (and right before the Cubbies made history too!), to having to postpone shit again and again behind the scenes due to mental health and other issues…

And now here we are, with the masters in our hands thanks to the talented Jesse Cannon, and we can’t wait to share them with you on #NationalComicBookDay on September 25th! Grab your favourite comic book and give it a read while you check out the boss-legit version of LEGACY (produced by Packy Lundholm of I Fight Dragons).

We’ll see you on Twitter and Insta then… and, after that, we’ll see y’all IRL at Kumoricon & Youmacon!

Kier xo
(on behalf of himself, Dave & Arnell)

Thank you for 35,000 views!

It’s been just over three years since we released the music video for TEAR DOWN THE WALL – one of the official songs for TV’s first transgender sitcom, THE SWITCH – and to cap off this year’s Pride Month it has officially hit 35,000 views on YouTube!

Tear Down The Wall started off as a low-key music and lyric writing project on a couch between two queer creative friends (musician Kieran Strange and actress/writer/director Amy Fox) and, under the expertise and guidance of producer Ingo Lou and director Jem Garrard, exploded into a little baby-mini-anthem for the Pride seasons 2014 and 2015 across Canada and in some States of America!

So now, three years later, where are we…?


(Above: The Switch’s fantastic cover art & Amy Fox receiving her 2016 Leo Award.)

After 2+ years of back-breaking hard-work, casting, promotion, fundraising, shooting (six episodes in five-and-a-half weeks in the spring of 2015!), editing, even more promotion, and more behind-the-scenes stuff than can ever be quantified, The Switch: Work. Love. Mortal Danger. debuted on Canadian Cable in 2016 as the first scripted TV show with a trans* actor in a starring role. Since then, it has received recognition, acclaim, accolades, and press from both inside and outside of the LGBTQ+ community. Now in 2017 it’s starting to blow up in a big way; it’s launching on iTunes, Vimeo On Demand, Amazon Prime, Google Play, and Revry, and actress Amy Fox won the 2016 Leo Award for “Best Performance in a Music, Comedy, or Variety Programme/Series” for her performance in Episode 05: Date Night, making her the first trans*-identifying actress to win the ‘Best’ award.


(Above: lunch-on-the-go on tour in Texas & some of my POC Booking family at A-Kon 2017!)

The last three years have been particularly interesting for Kieran (that’s me!). I appeared as a genderfluid girl in the recording studio and the music video, having only very recently understood and started to explore that fluidity. I remember being terrified that I wouldn’t be “trans*” enough to represent the song and the show well, despite my lifelong transmasculinism. Well, my friendship with Amy as well as other factors in my recent life have caused me to finally embrace and accept my reality, that I am in fact “a man trapped in a female body” (for lack of a less cheesy or ridiculous way of describing it). It’s been a journey of self-discovery that is still far from over, and which has led to me in the last ten months being a much happier and healthier person, someone who is able to dedicate himself more wholly to his music, his art, and his fans.


(Above: Kiefer in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow!)

At a time in his life where most toddlers are obsessed with toys and tantrums, two-year-old Kiefer O’Reilly of the Greater Vancouver area seemed much more inspired by the colourful characters he saw on his television set – an interest in acting from an early age that I can definitely relate to! If you recognize his face, or his name, there’s a chance it’s from his recurring role on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, or from one of his dramatically demanding and yet exceedingly well-executed roles for several different Lifetime movies! Kiefer has grown up so much from the cute, easy-to-work-with kid who sat and coloured with us on the set for Tear Down The Wall and, under the care and support of loving, passionate parents (who were open-minded and allied enough to allow a tiny-weeny Kiefer to appear in the music video for an indie transgender sitcom), Kiefer is poised to go household-name-stratospheric into the world of being a young male actor!


If you’re interested in checking out The Switch, or even helping us promote the show if you dig what you see, there are several different ways you can support them and/or help spread the word!

GIVE A SHARE / RT / LIKE / COMMENT TO THE SONG!: The simplest and easiest way to help, and it’s also free! You can share links to the video, or even to the song itself, and tell your friends about it.

COME HANG OUT AND CHAT WITH US ON SOCIAL MEDIA!: Likes, Comments, Ratings, and Subscriptions on any of our channels helps us so much, and we LOVE to meet new people, chat, get to know you, and hear your own LGBTQ+ stories. So check us out on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram too at @WeLoveTheSwitch and @KieranStrange!

PROMOTE THE SHOW!: If you have friends who love a bit of comedy, a bit of sci-fi, and a lot of LGBTQ+ character development in their lives, you probably have friends who will LOVE The Switch! It’s available on Vimeo On DemandRevry, and more, and you can also share THIS LINK TO THE TRAILER & WEBSITE on your social media!

A MUCHLY Required Update: apologies, changes, and NEWS! :D

Strangers, friends, fans, and anyone else who hangs out here!

It’s been a while. And if you’ve hung on this long, I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life rocking out as hard and often as I can for you, as a thank you for your patience and understanding!

We’ve got a lot of exciting things coming your way, and I’m stoked to share them! Because my updates have been sporadic and scattered til now, here’s a quick run-down of stuff you might know, might not know, and might want to know!

  • WAIT, DID SOMEONE SAY BAND!? I’ve teamed up with Dave Kitsberg (The Spoony Bards, Time Crash, Random Gibberish, Arc Impulse) and Arnell Damasco (SixOneForte, Better Off Fred) to form a new music project: WE ARE THE CHAOS! And we’ll be HOPING to bring a two- or three-piece group to our conventions in 2017/18 in order to rock out even HARDER for you!
  • POSSIBLY A NEW ALBUM…? In a similar vein, Dave and I have been writing music together and separately on and off for the last little while, and are about to hit it hard again. Which means we have a new announcement about a new lump of tracks coming up… possibly… in the next few months…………….
  • IT’S ALMOST TIME TO DEFEND YOUR LEGACY! Those of you who came to cons in the fall/winter/spring know that we have a new single coming out inspired by the Captain America: Civil War movie called Legacy! And again, we’re hoping to make an announcement shortly about that after we manage to wrangle a couple more li’l baby ducks into a row.
  • WHO IS AGENT SPARROW!? I released my first ever sci-fi urban fantasy novel, BLACK TIE: Book One of the Sparrow Archives. You might notice there’s a new tab on my website HERE!!!! for you to check out information about the series, characters, universe, and story. It’s been very therapeutic to write something like this… something that takes intense action, quirky humour, strong character development, political/emotional turmoil, and sciencey-wiency-stuff. BOOK ONE is currently available HERE ON AMAZON!!!!!!!, and BOOK TWO is currently being written for a summer release!

We’ve got some conventions coming up that we’ll be guests or industry at in the next eight months, too – some of which we can talk about, and some of which we can’t, hehehe. But these are the ones we CAN announce:
A-KON 28 in DALLAS/FORT WORTH, TX (Kieran, Kit – panels Thursday and Friday night)
ANIME EXPO (AX) in LOS ANGELES, CA (Kieran, Kit – no panels)
SAN JAPAN X in SAN ANTONIO, TX (Kieran, Dave, Arnell, Kit, Wade – concert + panels all weekend)

I’m also rebooting my e-newsletter, so MAKE SURE YOU’RE SIGNED UP!!!!! You can check out the quick sign-up box in the right-hand toolbar of my website here, OR JUST CLICK HERE TO GET SIGNED UP! 😀

Beyond my room mate and tour manager being in and out of hospital all last year, and several other issues in my personal life including finally finding and exploring my real self via transition, I’ve never wanted to hide the fact that I, like a LOT of my friends and fans, struggle every single day with mental illness. I recently started seeing a couple of new counsellors/therapists, and the cognitive behavioural therapy we’ve been doing has been… absolutely remarkable. I’m also possibly looking at a new diagnosis which, while it’s all very scary and horrifying to think of the things that could be wrong with me, could be the ultimate answer I’ve been searching to for why my mind works the way it does, and why I react to things the way I do. So that’s a plus. 🙂 It’s always a good idea to be grateful for a diagnosis at the same time as being afraid or upset, because it means you know – and knowing is half the battle, right!? Ha ha.

Anyway, long story short, my counsellor said something really important to me: he said that trust is a risk, not a guarantee. A lot of people look at trust as something that is only earned once you have proven yourself… but trust is, actually, something we have to place in people who may very well hurt us. We can’t wait, and wait, and wait, and expect that once we trust we will never be hurt, because that simply isn’t the way the world works: it works because we have the guts and strength to pull our hearts out and hand them to someone we care about, and tell them, “please don’t drop this”… even though you know there’s a good chance they might.

I feel like a lot of people have trusted me, and been patient with me, and taken risks with me. There are so many musicians and activists and online personalities out there. Why me? Why care about me, and what I do? I feel like this musical career… I always feel weird and awkward calling it a “career” because it doesn’t feel like that: it feels like a journey, like an experience, something huge and incredible I’ve shared with people I’ve only met a couple of times (or sometimes not even at all). I feel like it’s something that’s so a part of me now that the first (and pretty much only) thing I can think about now that I’m starting to feel better and recover from this lifelong affliction is that I want to throw myself into the deep end of music and writing and the internet as hard and fast as I can.

I also feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time, squandered a lot of opportunities, and fucked myself over a whole lot of times purely because my own subconscious drive to self-sabotage everything I do has held me back every step of the way. I’m sure a lot of you can probably understand that… I know I’m not the only person who’s unconsciously hell-bent on destroying themselves and running away anytime any glimmer of success looms upon the horizon. And sometimes I look at that, I look at everything in my past and I wonder if there’s even a future given how much I’ve already messed all this up… but there has to be. Because if there really truly isn’t, there’s only one other real choice, and that is an option I have sworn I will never allow myself to succumb to. 🙂 So I’ve decided, weighing my options, to take it on the chin, to human-up, and to try my best to make amends where needed and spend the time and effort to prove that I am a changed person and that I am dedicated and, well, more the better part of me and less the shitty part! 😀

So yeah, thanks, everyone! Seriously… you’re the real heroes here, and remember, not all superheroes have superpowers. In fact, a lot of superheroes are massive fuckups, so anytime you look at yourself in the mirror to remind yourself what a massive fuckup you are, remember that definitely doesn’t hold you back from going out there today, tomorrow, and being a goddamn hero.

I’ll check in with you again soon! Til then, I’m on Instagram and Twitter @KIERANSTRANGE if you wanna chill and hang out, and don’t forget to sign up for my e-newsletter and check out my first novel BLACK TIE!

Kieran xo

A gift for our friends, fans, and anyone else who needs a boost… <3

If you’re feeling down this weekend, or feeling hopeless, or feeling like your world is coming down around you, we all hope that this new song helps you remember that you’re not suffering alone, and you’re not going to fight alone either.

There are so many other people out there who feel the same as you, so please… please don’t give up.

Download the song for free here.

Kieran, Dave & Arnell
Kieran Strange & The Chaos

Lyrics under the cut… *click*!

Continue reading “A gift for our friends, fans, and anyone else who needs a boost… <3”

Adamantine Arts: Price Adjustment

Hey, everyone!

I spent last night adjusting many of the prices on my Etsy site, Adamantine Arts. There were a couple reasons for this, most of them legitimate and rational, one or two silly. The election season and the fact that people are concerned about spending was definitely a factor, so I decided to look at where I would be able to squeeze in a little bit of a cut so that I could lower my prices as much as possible. Whatever the reasons, I have some new prices up for the adamantineartsbuttons and other merch items I have designed on my Etsy. Here’s a couple examples of how the pricing has changed…

Old Price –> New Price | Pronoun & Activist Price
1 x pinback button: $2.00 –> $1.75 | $1.50
3 x pinback buttons: $5.00 –> $4.50 | $4.00
4 x pinback buttons: $6.00 –> $5.50 | $5.00
7 x pinback buttons: $9.00 –> $8.00 | $7.50

I’ve also introduced (as you can see) Pronoun & Activist pricing. These are for buttons that I want to get into people’s hands because of the message they represent, and so I take a profit cut in order to give people more of a deal on the price. It means I take a fairly big loss, but it’s worth it for certain designs.

Anyway, feel free to check out my store! Share it around, show your friends. All of the proceeds go into either our RECORDING FUND or our TOURING FUND (which gets us out to conventions and the like), so every little helps!!!

The link is: etsy.com/shop/adamantinearts

Thank ye!
Kieran xo




Wearing a simple safety pin on the left side of your chest or on your collar has become a silent symbol of unity, used to inform members of ethnic and social minority groups (who may be concerned about being targeted by offenders) that you will stand up for them should they need you to.

Along the same thinking, Kieran created this hashtag to:
a) help spread a message that hate or abuse of any kind directed toward any group of people is not only unjustified and unwelcome, but goes against the exact same sense of “greatness” many of us are striving for these days: After all, how will spewing out and basking in senseless hate make ANYTHING “great” again?
b) help create an online network of support for people who genuinely feel like you have no one on your side right now. A number of people have criticized Kieran for how vocal he has been about the US election, but regardless of distance, he believes a sense of unity, comfort, understanding and support can effectively bridge any number of miles.

Through the #HATEISNTGREAT message, Kieran hopes to spread a method of thinking where both allies and would-be allies are encouraged to stand up and intervene *peacefully* on behalf of the victim when they see others being bullied, harassed, or abused in public or online, and hateful speak is not only discouraged, but is addressed when it occurs with civility, kindness, pity, even a sense of understanding, but never with rage or hate in return. We aim to create a sense of community and a feeling of unity within a very, very disenfranchised and disenchanted world.

So feel free to use the hashtag on social media to meet others, as well as take this message out into the world. And remember…
>>> STAY SAFE. Always keep personal safety and the safety of others as your top priority.
>>> STAY STRONG. Always keep your head up, never let the bastards grind you down.
>>> RISE ABOVE. Don’t return their hate and ignorance with hate and ignorance of your own.

If you see someone harassing another person, the most effective way you can both be an ally to the victim and diffuse the situation is the peacefully make your presence known. Sit down with the victim and engage them in pleasant, polite conversation, calmly ignoring and not engaging the harasser at all. Remember: your solidarity is the most powerful thing you can offer!

While I recommend everyone wear a simple safety pin, as it’s the cheapest option and everyone usually has one lying around, I do also have some cute safety pin inspired buttons for sale. I’ve thrown a couple on my jackets and toques along with my safety pins. If I end up making more than $50 in profit off of these though, I’m going to look into donating a good portion of the proceeds to a charity that seems to fit the theme. Thanks!


AHHHHHHHHH~ I’m so excited that I can finally talk about this!!!! I’ll be back at Youmacon in Detroit, MI this November and I absolutely cannot wait to see everybody again!


I’m really, really stoked for this con. Both Youma and Kumoricon (Portland, OR) are getting to experience some brand new material that no one has ever seen or heard before, as well as some new panels and other fun tricks we’re going to have stuffed up our sleeves! ^_~

First off, we’ll be hosting a second concert in addition to our usual Main Stage gig: an acoustic 18+ panel called The Naughty Corner, during which we’d love to treat y’all to some funny geeky parodies to some songs you’ve probably heard before.

Secondly, I’m ecstatic to announce that we’ll be debuting the cosplay music video for my 2015 track INVINCIBLE! For those of you who don’t know, I filmed some footage for a CMV at Youmacon last year; however, when I went on my mental health hiatus from Christmas til summer, I didn’t get a chance to release it. Sooooooo, we’re going to be debuting it LIVE at my main concert this year! It’s looking incredible, I’ve been sifting through the footage and working on it, and I’ve got a little more to shoot in early October before I can finish it off! Can’t wait to share it! #ifeelinvincible <3

Feel free to hit me up at @KieranStrange on Twitter and Instagram! I’ll be cosplaying for some parts of the con too (I’m not a pro or anything, it’s just fun if I get time!) so it would be awesome to grab a selfie together~!

Kieran xo