Growing up, the only reference point I had for the trans experience was on tabloid TV - it was sensationalistic and exploitive. I never wanted to be associated with that world. It would take years before I could put stigma and self-loathing aside to stop suppressing who I was. I transitioned in the year 2000. It didn’t feel like a decision. When you finally face the truth about yourself, you can’t “un-know” it. I already was a man and I just had to make my body match.
Things were very different then. It’s weird to think that no one (including myself) had ever met or heard of a man who had been assigned female at birth. I had no role models; the only thing I had was my internal sense of knowing.
Three years into transition, I was much more comfortable in my own skin, but I was also struggling. I believed that the world saw me as a freak. Who I knew myself to be, and how I was often viewed were at odds. A mentor of mine, Randy Revell, sat me down for lunch. He saw my struggle and his answer was “you have to do a solo show”. I nearly did a spit take. No way. I would never expose myself like that. But I also knew he was right - I knew I had to tell my story in order to get over myself. And in so doing, I might be able to help other people. That was 2003.
It took so long to write the play because I was evolving as I was writing, shedding layers of self/other/world judgments. To write authentically, I needed time to process the changes not only within myself, but also how the world was changing with respect to this topic.
The play was finally ready with a staged reading in 2018. My production schedule on Henry Danger and Danger Force meant putting it off to open in May 2020 at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles. And then Covid hit.
So now we’re back at it. And looking back, the timing couldn’t be better.
What’s different about this play is that it gets inside the trans experience. It offers a visceral and emotional understanding of what it is like to grow up with a body that does not match your gender identity. It’s a lens into the experience for those who have never had to question their gender identity, and an affirmation for those who have. Despite this story being so unique, I wanted the play to be universal; I wanted audience members to gain insight into themselves and their own relationship to their bodies, their gender, to their parents, and their children. And to have compassion for their own and other people’s struggles. I wanted audiences to walk away transformed.
There is more trans visibility now than ever before and, paradoxically, misinformation and hate based anti-trans legislation is more pervasive than ever. It is my vision that this play will help bring much needed context to and understanding of the trans experience, and to help move the collective consciousness toward dignity, compassion, and actual celebration of our similarities and our exquisite uniqueness.
If you are interested in being a part of this project or have any questions, please email email@example.com or fill out our form on the contact page.
I'm excited to finally move this forward!