When you’re trans, sometimes it seems like everything in the world can be a trigger. I get tired of that, and sometimes think it’s just my overactive imagination.
But while reading a book about the making of Star Trek last night (yes, I’m a geek), this passage, from the production notes for “The Squire of Gothos,” triggered something deep within me:
The problem occurred when a wig [William] Campbell was to wear arrived. The Squire was to be dressed as an old world English barrister… “The makeup person comes over and puts it on and I look like an old Shirley Temple. It was a French period wig, very curly and full. I immediately told them, ‘You’ve got the wrong wig.’ And I remember Bill [Shatner] … said, ‘What difference does it make? Nobody’s going to know that.’ I said, ‘It does make a difference to me. It’s not only a difference in the acting that I would do, but it isn’t right.'”
As a student of the theater, I know this to be true. Sometimes you can’t truly inhabit a character/role until you are in the right costume and on the right set. You can pretend, while in rehearsal, but it doesn’t become fully-formed or real until everything is put together. The look, when it finally all comes together, makes magical things possible.
In daily life, I play the role of a man. I’ve done it for a long time. I’m good at it.
But I aspire to play and live the role of transwoman. I simply don’t have enough pieces in place yet to make that possible.
And I sometimes wonder if I ever will.