Last February I was privileged to be part of a show at my University that took anonymously submitted student monologues and performed them to give a voice to the voiceless. Monologues were about everything from race to sexual orientation to depression. Below is the piece I wrote for the show, which was performed by a dear friend of mine.
In retrospect I might have written some of it differently, but the heart of the monologue is still relevant.
I am not who I seem to be.
Um, I don’t have much time, so I’ll just say it: *Sigh* …I’m transgender. I have the body of a boy, but I’m a girl on the inside. *Sigh* It’s complicated.
The thing is, when people think of transsexuals, they think of some old dude in bad make-up impersonating Marilyn Monroe on the weekends. That’s not me. I’m a poet; I love Jane Austen; I like to dance and smile; I want to be called beautiful. My soul is simple and pure, like a small clear gem. I think my soul is beautiful. The thing is it took a long time to get here, because my entire life I have felt deep shame about who I am. I’ve felt like a freak; I’ve felt like everything that comes naturally to my spirit is somehow bad and insufficient. I’m carefree and hopeful? NO, I must be competitive and pragmatic! I’m compassionate and empathetic? NO, I must be self-sufficient and logical! I want to ask for leather boots for Christmas, and instead I ask for aftershave.
I spend so much energy on fruitless labor. I’m exhausted all the time! Our society demands that I fit into these ridiculous boxes of masculinity and femininity. I’m born with male junk between my legs, and therefore I have to dress a certain way, act a certain way, smile a certain way, express love a certain way. I’m not saying that I have a problem with gender roles or the categories of male and female. The great dance between the yin and yang of the universe is breathtakingly beautiful! What troubles me is that I am automatically not allowed to join in this dance because I am different. I’m sorry, I just don’t feel like a dude. My emotions, my paradigm, my everything, feels female. What do you want me to do about it!? Be a lie?!
The thing is, so far I’ve been mostly a lie. You would never have guessed I’m transgender. I’ve played sports with you. I’ve dated your friend. I’ve pranced around like a regular bro, pretending to feel and think the way I’m ‘supposed’ to. I deserve an Academy Award for Best Actress – no, wait, for a Lifetime Achievement. I’m sitting right next to you, and you don’t know I’m here.
*chuckle* You never can tell with people, can you?