My name is Jessica and I don’t exist. I am a ghost and an enigma. I’m the shadow that stalks my parents and the thorn in the side of my family. I am a transgender and I am happy. I’m not happy that my family finds me distasteful, far from it. I’d much rather have them embrace me and love me now as they once did. I spent the first 17 years of my life as the most unhappy and suicidal jerk you could imagine, my only relief was my love for theater.
Drama drew me because of its freedom and endless possibilities. In my normal life I had to be who the world wanted, a boring and depressed male, but on stage I could be whoever I wanted. On that glorious stage I could be as feminine as I wanted and although I got quite a few unfriendly comments, I was happy. The stage was where I could find peace from my inner demons and where I could embrace my “other side”. It is this “other side” that now is the real me.
I left that stage years ago now and the plays I was in, the friends I made, the laughs I had are all fond memories. It was from that stage that I found out how powerful friends are and although the old troupe has gone their separate ways I owe an awful lot to that crew of misfits. As I said though, that was years ago and I’ve moved onto college now. When I began college I was scared, I knew no one, I was in mid transition and I was going into medicine instead of performing arts. The night before I would attend my first class I remembered a favorite line of mine from a play. “All the world’s a stage.”
So now I don’t need a theater to feel secure. I don’t need the bright lights and the flashy costumes. Now my whole world is my stage and I am my own character.
I’m From Norwich, CT – Video Story. “My name is Dru Levasseur and I’m a trans guy. I started realizing that I was transgender right around when I was 27. It was a really scary time when I started realizing I was trans because I had had a lesbian wedding, two white dresses, and I was very visibly a lesbian, very much identifying in that culture. And gay bars were where it was the place I could go to feel safe and feel like I could be myself.”
I’m From Deep River, ON, Canada. “I’m… I’m transsexual…” I said. Despite the first stutter, it was amazing how easily it rolled off the tongue. As expected, she just stared back at me. “… And gay.” I added. And why not? It felt good to let my secrets out. Actually, a lot better than I’d expected. I was surprised that I’d been so emotionally invested in the thing. The idea had been a sudden whim, and yet… It was stupid, but I felt better for it.”
I’m From New Haven, CT – Video Story. “First I was a mentor and I said, “You know there’s gotta be more than this one trans kid who needs my help” so I started a youth group for trans kids between the ages of 14 and 17. And it’s amazing how when I’m sitting in a room with a kid and the kids like cryin’, “I’m cuttin’ myself. I don’t wanna be in school.” I’m like, “Dude, everything is okay. I was there.” So it’s almost like being with the kids rights all my wrongs. I always wondered why I was abused so much and why I was a cutter and I did so much drugs. Like, why was that thrown on one person? And now I know why.”