Is Isis Distancing Herself from the Trans Community?

Lori D Ariz's picture

 Last Friday Larry King featured several trans guests in a show called "The Secret Life of Transgenders." Included were Alexis Arquette, Stu Rasmussen, Ryan Sallans, and Isis King. You may remember Isis last year from being the first transwoman to ever be on America's Next Top Model.

 
I was able to watch most of the show and really wanted to write a some afterthoughts on the program, especially after friend and blogger Karyn asked me via a Facebook update what I thought of Isis somewhat distancing herself from the term "transgender." At the time I was quickly distracted when my son caught a glimpse of the television set and asked me, "Was SHE a boy with a girl's brain like you? IS she a boy?" I was able to use the program as a tool to further educate my son about being T, and I think he began to realize that his dad wasn't the only out there who has transitioned genders.
 
I went back and watched most of the show later on and even found a blog post that explained the show in depth. I encourage you to head over to Living Out Loud With Darian, read his take, and you can even watch that particular show in its entirety there. (Click on over HERE).
 
I wish Karyn and I could have talked about all this over the phone or something at the time. Karyn's story and her successful relationship is something I admire greatly. (HERE is her siteby the way).
 
Karyn's initial feelings about Isis may have changed, but this gave me time to think about how I felt about how some choose to back away from terms like transgender and transsexual. I see why some people would seek to do so. After all, once you've transitioned genders, have had surgery and are essentially living in your affirmed gender, are you really trans any longer in the true sense of the term? Not really. You went through a process of transition and are now living as congruently as possible.
 
Isis may have missed an opportunity to claim the title "T" in an effort to educate others, and in a way that could have done the community a service, but let's face it, I think she has already seized her fair share of standing in the spotlight over this. Her story of being a homeless "woman born in the wrong body" one year and the next crawling her way into the running for America's Next Top Model already reveals her courage, tenacity, and strength to get to where she is today. Once her previous life being raised as a boy was revealed, she owned her transition in front of everyone's television sets. Heck, the fact that she chose to come onto Larry King's show called "The Secret Life of Transgenders" is testament to the fact that she's not distancing herself from the trans community, she's standing right in the middle of it.
 
So she doesn't prefer the term "transgender." Big deal. She's a woman, and that's the way I see her. I'm hoping that's the way people will see that part of me, too. Especially the ones who've only known the male life I've pretended to live all these years. I know I'll always be a woman with a male past, but nevertheless, I'm going to live the way God made me. And who is to say he didn't allow this to happen for the very reason that at this very point in time, I was supposed to share my story with you, to take my turn to step up and say that this is who I am. I am transgender, a transwoman, a woman born in the wrong body, or a woman with a past, but there ain't nothing wrong with any of those titles.
 
You see, I was always beautiful, even when they called me ugly.

 

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I love this post!

arvan's picture

Lori,

This window into your life is a bright and clear picture of your process for self-identity and the declaration of it into your life.  Really, it is a great example of the human capacties for thought and communication.  You describe your relation to your self, to your choices in life in how you define yourself and the manner in which you share that with others.

Great stuff, thanks for it.

-arvan

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