(Approximate reading time: 10 minutes)
my ts diary…
The story below is from, “my TS diary…” which I wrote and performed live at Club Blue Six with an amazing group of artists for, “CONFUSED GORILLAS THROWING MANGOS” project. It was a lot of fun, and I look forward to hopefully having more opportunities to perform this live!
But just in case, here is the actual text from my script.
SCRIPT:my TS diary…
COSTUME: Wonder Woman T-shirt, American Flag tie, Blue&White men’s boxer shorts, red cowboy boots, spikey left wrist bracelet.
TITLE: my TS diary…
Performed by Ms. Nikki Lee
Dedicated to: Princess Susan Shah
Begin Music: (Nancy Sinatra’s, “These boots are made for walk’n”)
5 I’M WONDER WOMAN:
So, I’m five years old, and I have just jumped onto my mother’s dining room table! I’m wearing little blue shorts, my cowboy boots and I am swinging a real rope!
Playing on top of the table, swinging my rope…
(Jumping up and down crazy!)
… and I proudly proclaim…
“I’m Wonder Woman!”
And just then,
the “Texas Bastard”
walks in (drunk swagger) and he very drunkenly swears,
“You look like a goddamn girl!”
…I look like a goddamn girl…
I look like a damn girl.
I look like a girl.
I am delighted because I am a girl.
Although, I’m being raised a boy.
But I’m really a girl. Hahaha! Confused yet?
So, I’m a girl but, I’m being raised a boy – because, well, I was born with a penis. So, everyone thinks I’m a boy. But, I’m really a girl… (awkward) a girl – with a penis.
Only, no one knows that but me. Not my mom or the Texas bastard. Like everyone else, they think I’m a boy. A boy who looks and acts, like a damn girl.
Especially, when I run around the house proclaiming, “I’m Wonder Woman!”
Fortunately, my mother, (aside from her choice in a Texas bastard for a husband) has infinite wisdom and lets me be whomever I want to be.
She then scoots me off the table and gives me a Hula hoop, and tells me to play outside.
(Hula hoop music.)
(Perform Hula Hoop tricks all around body)
10 KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE:
Now, I’m ten years old. (Boot stomp!)
I’m growing up in Colorado. And knowing is half the battle. Only, I’m not sure what I know. I have stopped believing I am a girl and now think I am really a boy, a boy who wants to be a girl. And I pray for that every night.
(Lay down, curl up – silently but fervently pray)
But every morning, I wake up. (Sit up ) (Look down at crotch) And I’m still a boy.The only mercy for me (point self) is G.I Joe is on TV!
(Pop-up excited) I still like Wonder Woman, but like so many little boys in America, G. I. Joe is now my favorite hero!/Take off Wonder Woman shirt/(Reveal G.I. Joe Girl Pink Granade T-shirt )
Only, unlike all the other little boys, I’m not really into the macho male characters (Macho poise) like Duke or Snake Eyes…Hiya! (Karate chop) Instead, I like the female characters like Scarlette and Lady Jay.
Beautiful (Vogue pose) and dangerous! (High kick)
They are my real American hero.
And believe me, a little (palm high and bend low) “boy” whose growing up secretly wanting to be a “girl”… needs a hero.
15 A PLACE CALLED OKLAHOMA:
I am now fifteen growing up in Oklahoma. I’m midway through the teenage nightmare called my life. Puberty arrived a few years back, with razorblade in hand; and the scars upon my wrists (show the punk rock spikey bracelet on left wrist) prove my sincere dissatisfaction that – my wishes had not come true, and I had not yet turned into a girl, or maybe was after all a girl – stuck in a boys life!
But life is not all bad; my mothers’ infinite wisdom finally caught up with her fully, and she kicked (kick) the Texas bastard out with a divorce!
And now we are living in Oklahoma…
But here – I’ve got all new bastards to contend with! In public everyone usually “mistakes” me for a girl, but at school, I’m still just a faggot – who sounds like a girl and kinda looks like a girl. Needless to say, I don’t like school much.
Meanwhile, at home, I have created a super refuge. Super heroes like Wonder Woman no longer adorn my wall – instead, the supermodels of Cosmopolitan magazine do. My mom probably thinks, or maybe just really hopes, it’s cause I like girls.
I do kind of, especially, supermodel Yasmeen Ghauri. I want to be just like her! And per the pages of Cosmo, I know all about hair, makeup and how to keep your man interested!
(flirt/wink with male audience)
The last one is particularly of interest to me since I’m fifteen and boy crazy for a boy named Joe. Joe is the only reason I will dare to go to school. But, Joe isn’t so crazy about me. And by the end of the year, I will drop out of school and begin for like the 19th time to run away… won’t be long before I make it all the way to California.
23 I GROW UP:
And with leaps and bounds (side long) across the years and the miles,(arms open wide) and more than a few state lines in between (arms bend in point center together), I grow up!
I’m now twenty-three, and I’m living a dream in the most wonderful (gesture) place in America, (spin around) beautiful San Francisco! Here, at last, I fully transform and make my childhood wishes come true (spin up arms cross over reveal) as I reveal – I am transsexual!
(z-snap, snap, snap)
FUN AND GAMES:
And it’s on!
Transitioning in the blink of an eye! (swing/jump/bend through hula hoop) as I now leap from one transitional hoop into another and another. (continue swing/jump/bend through Hula hoop)
Hormone pills, injections, name change, breast implants and in between the many required doctors and psychologist who take their turn to try to define my gender for me. I jump through all their hoops – and through it all – I am grateful my wise mother so many years ago so wisely taught me to Hula hoop!
(Hula hoop music.) (Laugh and enjoy hula hooping)
And I keep moving forward, becoming more and more myself; and finally in just nine months from point A to Z, or maybe only, A to T – a sex change in Thailand.
But it was not all fun and games…
(put down the hoop or let it roll away and fall)
And I have to come to terms for myself about what it means to be transsexual. Because to get here – to have achieved this transformation, I have had to go through some serious shit! Nothing less than death…
The acts of social death are profound. The loss of name, the loss of one gender and identity, are significant forms of real death. Believe It. Not only for me but for everyone who ever thought they knew me…
Imagine my wise mother having to learn that I was never her son but really, her daughter. (She already knew – like I said, she’s wise!) But it still hurt. And suddenly in the blink of an eye her son no longer seems to exist – and in his place is me. A full grown woman?
Who strangely kind of looks just like – my mother.
But an even more significant feeling of death happens for me, the moment on the cutting table in Thailand for my quote unquote sex change – where I did die.
And somehow I was reborn.
And with my rebirth, as I “became a transsexual woman”. (Laydown and wake up) I lay awake, and I feel like I have come to life like a brand new being. It is a surreal experience because somehow I have all the memories of a past life of a little boy who wanted to be a girl. And I am so sad he was willing to bravely sacrifice his life – so that I could live!
And I feel very much humbled to be alive – because of this. I am both somehow who I never was and yet somehow entirely someone else, who I’ve always wanted to be – or maybe just have always been.
Either way, I feel both split in half and whole in a way I’ve never felt before. And again, I am humbled to just be alive.
(breathe) (breathe) (breathe)
And I question, does having a “sex change” really make you someone you weren’t? (tie hangs down in front) For me, the answer comes from within.(Sit poise one leg up reach into boxer shorts/ala Carolee Schneeman – pull out text scroll)
I remember I use to believe
that I was a mistake.
I would say things like,
“I was really meant to be born a girl.”
Or, “I didn’t ask to be born this way!”
I felt like my entire body was a birth defect.
But no longer do I feel this way!
At last, I realize
how beautiful being a
am so glad I was born
and raised a “boy.”
And that I grew up
to embody nature
as transsexual woman.
is one of the most
enchanting and phenomenal
aspects of my life.
I feel empowered!
I am not deformed.
and my body
a mistake or a birth defect!
But rather, I feel it has been a divine choice.
Everything about me
is proof that I am
here to make
a difference in the world –
because I choose to!
And being transsexual
of the humble and gracious ways I do.
But, if you’ve been listening,
and you understand my gender
and sense of identity is really as
innate as anyone else’s,
even yours, male or female.
That from the moment of my birth
into this physical body, it has always
Even before I was five and
proclaimed I was Wonder Woman!
Then you realize that it’s not really
my gender, or me, that changes…
just your perception of me
Because inside and outside
And therefore, the very word
maybe no longer means what
you thought it means.
(toss the scroll away like a lasso)
HERE I AM:
(Step amidst the audience)
So here I am with you now. I’m now thirty-three (slowly spin around) I’m a little older. Hopefully, like my mother, I’m getting wiser. But, I still like G.I. Joe (move tie, show shirt) and cowboy boots (one hand to boot) and Wonder Woman! (pick up WonderWoman T-shirt)
But this time, I’m proudly proclaiming I’m me!
End Music: (Nancy Sinatra’s, “These boots are made for walk’n”)
If you read this far, THANK YOU!
Ps. Much thank you to Marc Bamuthi, who directly was a huge inspiration for me to do this show. I saw him perform a few weeks before, and he totally inspired me!
For more of Bamuthi check out:
Also, of course, great inspiration from the talented, Sean Dorsey.
AND MOST OF ALL: THANK YOU, MOM!
For your love, compassion, and wisdom.