Transgender rocker Lenny Zenith seated with grey shirt and white suspenders
Photo: Sam Lahoz

The pioneering transgender writer and rock musician has been writing, performing and releasing music for years with his own bands Jenifer Convertible, Tenterhooks, Minor Planets, Pop Combo and RZA (he had the name first, by the way), worked with producers James Murphy (pre-LCD Soundsystem) and Wharton Tiers (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.), and opened for legendary bands U2, Iggy Pop, The Replacements and X. 

While primarily considered an indie/punk rock artist, he explores other genres including Latin (Lenny is half Cuban), jazz, electronica, pop and orchestral ballads.

Lenny transitioned in his early teens in New Orleans where he also attended NOCCA (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts). He credits the two doctors his parents took him to see at Tulane Medical Center for saving his life as a young and frightened trans kid. 

Lenny surreptitiously attended school as a boy until his senior year, when he was outed by a classmate. He was asked not to return to school and was issued his diploma via mail. 

After “graduation,” he went on to form the aforementioned bands, eventually moving to New York City where he continued to hone his craft and became a fierce activist for trans causes speaking at universities, PFLAG events, Queer Memoir and other spoken word performances. Many of his releases have raised funds for groups such as Trans LifelinePFLAG,  Trans Women of Color Collective and House of Tulip (in his hometown of New Orleans).

Though Zenith transitioned as a teen, it was years before he came out publicly, because, as he told Billboard magazine, “he didn’t feel safe publicizing himself because of his transgender identity. But now, he’s ready to let the world know exactly who he is. ‘I want my voice to be heard, and I want to be able to support working with other transgender people and artists.’”

Lenny Zenith’s first solo album What If The Sun album released in 2018. He is currently working on a new album to be released Fall 2022.

Recording “Where Is Safe”