All my life I have held steadfastly to the opinion that I am unique, that God had a prupose in mind when he made me. I have never been one for going with the flow or being a face in the crowd. And I’m not boasting when I say this because more often than not I have been labelled the weird al of any group that I temporarily belonged to. My ideologies, my rationales, my personality traits...everything seemed to not confirm to the regular trends set by my contemporaries. And the best part is-it never bothered me to be different. I have been happy the way I am, I’m still like that and still happy and pretty much sure that won’t change much in the future. So imagine my surprise when I find a song that could very well have been called “Twinky’s song”. I have since adopted the song as my battle cry against conformity and convention. I respect tradition, but I will never be forced into following something that doesn’t make sense to me. I am what I am.
I haven’t seen/heard the musical personally but Wikipedia tells me that the song is found on the finale number of the play's first act, and performed by the character of Albin Mougeotte. For obvious reasons, the song became so popular that it has since been covered by the likes of Shirley Bassey, Marti Webb, Joannie Taylor, Respect featuring Hannah Jones, Soraya Arnelas, Ken Page, Gerard-Rene-Gordon, Doug Shneider, Teatro, Linda Eder, John Barrowman, Amateur Transplants and Anthony Warlow. In fact, Wiki tells me that in Argentina, the singer Sandra Mihanovich made a Spanish-cover of the song called Soy lo que soy.
Although it was composed in 1983 by an openly gay man – Jerry Herman, and popularized by disco diva Gloria Gaynor, which made her a widespread icon of the fast growing gay movement, for me it has nothing to do with a person’s sexual orientation. To me “I am what I am” is a personal song-one can even call it a cliché that I live by, my stronghold, my armor.
My mother has often warned me of the lyrics acting as a double edged sword. And as usual she has been right. I have observed myself using the song as an excuse for my wrongdoings sometimes and looking back, I do not condone it. There is a fine line between being proud of what one is and making it the be all and end all of everything in the person’s character. I believe in change (though I don’t think Ill ever get used to it), and I believe in changing for the better. However through it all, I have promised myself that I will always maintain a balance, ensuring that the very basic root ingredients which make me-are not lost to societal or peer pressures, a dogmatic world or baseless fears. I am what I am. I am strong, I am emotional, I am peace-loving, I am just, I am fun loving, I am creative, I am non conventional, I am God’s child. I am what I am.
I am what I am, I am my own special creation,
So come take a look, Give me the hook
Or the ovation
It's my world That I want to have a little pride in
My world And it's not a place I have to hide in
Life's not worth a damn
Till I can say I am what I am
I am what I am I don't want praise I don't want pity
I bang my own drums Some think it's noise I think it's pretty
And so what if I love each sparkle and each bangle
Why not see things from a different angle
Your life is a sham
Till you can shout out I am what I am
I am what I am And what I am needs no excuses
I deal my own deck Sometimes the ace sometimes the deuces
It's one life and there's no return and no deposit
One life so it's time to open up your closet
Life's not worth a damn till you can shout out I am what I am