So, last night, I had a party in my backyard to celebrate my transition. It was awesome and a whole bunch of my friends showed up. Here is the invitation that I had sent as well as the note of thanks that I sent after the party and a few juicy tidbits about the party itself.
Invitation to Jacky’s Anti-Capitalist Commie Queer Transition Party
Some people celebrate marriage, birthdays and other changes. I’m celebrating another rite of passage – my social and physical transition from female to male. Sometime in the next two weeks, I will (hopefully – if all my tests come back clear) be receiving my first injection of testosterone, a hormone that will change my body in irreversible ways.
Like a wedding, this celebration is about commitment. However, this commitment is to myself: refusing to compromise myself in the name of love, friendship or social acceptance. (Interestingly, in the process, I have found more love, friendship and social acceptance than ever.) This is a step toward an expression of who I am – a release of something that was submerged under the murky waters of a confused and sad person for 30 years and that has been struggling to find a way out for the past 5.
Given the importance of this change, it would be an honour and a privilege to have the people I love spend an evening with me to mark this rite of passage. As with many celebrations, you are expected to give. However, I will refuse any material gifts. The gift I’m asking you to share (not just with me me, but to my whole friend collective) is one of creation or expression, since these are more productive and meaningful than material goods. They are powerful social mechanisms for change . . . and transition.
My transition goes way beyond a physical and social transition of female to male. It represents a transition from artificial to authentic; from submerging to surfacing; from entrapment to liberation; from conformity to subversion. Transformation, authenticity, surfacing, liberation, subversion – these are the themes I encourage you to express. Your contribution can be anything: a work of art, a photograph, a dance, a performance of any kind, a reading of something you or someone else wrote, a tattoo, a bowl of Froot Loops, a story about a change that happened to you or that you created. It can be something you have created or someone’s else’s creation that inspired you. It can be something old or something new. It can be planned or improvised. It can be anything that you think ties in to any of these themes in any way. If it’s something that occupies physical space, you will keep it afterward.
Now don’t go thinking that this will just be an intellectual, post-modern, artsy fartsy brain fest. We will have seemingly pointless and mindless fun too so bring your own intoxicants and get ready to have a good time. There will be people here from most of the areas of my life: chosen family, drag kings, community groups, work, etc. so be prepared to mingle.
Now, what actually wound up happening is that people read poems or other writings, many of them referring to me in some way. I was quite embarrassed as I didn’t want this to be ALL ABOUT ME, but about the human drive to change. But anyway . . . Some people performed, others brang chocolate, and yet another gave me a head massage with some gizmo called an Orgasmatron. Hmmm. Oh, and we can’t forget the extra special lap dance that I got from a very hot friend!
Now, I got pretty plastered early on in the evening, which wasn’t my original plan. But I needed to be drunk in order to follow through on the plan that I had to get dressed up as Charlotte the Harlot, my slutty female alter-ego, to give away a bunch of “girl” clothes that I no longer need. She was quite a hit!
Today, I am left with a beer full of fridge and very happy memories that will stay with me for my whole life. And in that spirit, this morning, after about 2 hours of sleep, I wrote this to all my guests:
The Thank You Note
Thank you so much for coming to my party and helping me celebrate my transition. It was a very memorable night that I will never forget. It was great to have a whole bunch of people that I care about show up. Although I was embarrassed that there was so much focus on me, in spite of my instructions to the contrary (!!), I was very touched to know that I’m surrounded by so many caring people. And despite my apprehension about mixing the people that I work with and the people that I play with, things turned out pretty good. Of course, I know that memories of an almost naked Charlotte the Harlot will come and haunt 65 year old Jacky when he retires (sigh).
Anyway, I wound up getting drunk earlier than I had planned so I was unable to articulate what I had planned on sharing with you so I thought I would share it here. I wanted to tell you about two artists who rocked my little transboy world in the past year and who continue to inspire me. One is Lazlo Pearlman, an FTM stage performer. When I first saw him on stage at the Sala Rossa last August, I was in a period of heavy questioning and one of my major blocks in terms of deciding to transition was this fear that if I transitioned, I would never be able to be proud and happy in a body that was not quite male but not quite female either. Lazlo’s performance, in which he wound up exposing his beautiful transmale body, with a masculine chest and *gasp* a cunt and in which he projected such pride and self-validation, made me realise that YES it IS possible to be proud and happy with an unconventional body. That mix of male and female on the outside is a reflection, for me, of the mix of male and female that is on the inside – a mix that some of us see as an awesome gift. So I had tears in my eyes when I saw Lazlo, appropriately, perform to Edith Piaf’s “Je ne regrette rien” and I felt this block, this fear, start to come crumbling down around me.
More recently, I made the acquaintance of another FTM artist by the name of Alexander (Alec) James Adams. The first song that I heard Alec perform live, two days before my first injection was to mark my transition experience by running through my head the day of the injection. It can be about any kind of positive change that a person makes but, given Alec’s transition experience, the lyrics resonated particularly well with what I’m experiencing right now and, of course, boys DO cry and I couldn’t stop the tears throughout the whole song when I first heard it. The song is called “From Neverland” and the chorus goes like this:
Never again to hide myself behind a secret door.
Never again to let my strengths become abused once more.
Never again to let another tell me where to stand.
I swore that all when I left Neverland.
These two men are big inspirations for me right now and I was fortunate enough to get a big brotherly hug from each of them. And all of you who came last night are inspirations to me in some way or another. Each of my friends is my friend because of something unique that they have to offer me and the world and because of the way they make me feel. Now that I know who I am and am acting on that knowledge, no longer hiding behind a secret door or my long hair, I hope to be better able to give back to my friends the love, support and inspiration that they have been giving me all these years.
A special “thank you” slap and tickle goes out to my bro, BK, who emceed last night’s proceedings and to L. and ML, my two lovely assistants, who helped me momentarily transition to Charlotte the Harlot, who, although she came into existence as a vain and painful attempt to try to find a way of being female that fit, will continue to be an important expression of my sexuality. A thank you grope goes out to M., one of my dearest and most beloved friends who came all the way from Plattsburg last night and who sat by my side the day of my first injection. And of course, I have to thank Nancy, who got me to where I am today. My hope is that Nancy, free from the burdens of material existence and the pain of trying to live up to something she never really wanted to be except to please others, will now get to reap the fruits of her hard labour and play around in the world of ideas and concepts. And thanks again to all of you who all contribute to my sense of being accepted and having a place in this world. I love you all. (Yeah, yeah, I said the “L” word. Shut up.)
Note: names of people have been omitted to respect people’s privacy. Nancy is, as you have probably guessed, by given female name. I used to simply say “given female name” on this blog, but screw it. I’m tired of hiding.