Am I Acting?

| Jan 29, 2018

There have been many, many times when I wondered why I have never won an award for acting.

Even though I am not a fan of the celluloid world, we all know that the aim of an actor or actress is to convince his or her audience that what he/she is saying or doing is real; that the character they are playing is genuine and lifelike, both in terms of speech and actions as well as body language. An actor or actress must always play the part with sufficient realism so as not to cause any, shall we say, disbelief in what the audience is watching.

So what’s all this got to do with Transgender people?

Well, in my case, given that I am from a pre-internet generation, growing up and being different was tough: sure, I dressed from the age of 4 or 5 but there was no knowledge or information about others like me; no one to talk to and seek support from. As a result, by the time I really learned about and understood that I am Transgendered, I was approaching my forties and, whilst I’d regularly dressed in the confines of my home, going out only was an obtainable goal. Even if I could have gone out, coming from a relatively quiet area (pre-internet and no easy access to Transgender groups), I probably had nowhere to go anyway!

When the breakthrough in knowledge accumulation and the opportunity to go out into the big wide word came, I knew I was a novice. A novice in how to walk, talk and act as a female — even how to dress appropriately for the situation I was planning to put myself into.

All of the things genetic females learn inherently or by second nature had to be learned if I was to successfully go out and mingle amongst the general populace! And they had to be learned quickly and without any external assistance (after all who could I turn to at the beginning?).

So, learn I did. To be honest, much of it came naturally and, over a period of maybe one year or more, I learned to carry myself in a feminine way (smaller steps, slower movements), control my body language so that I was more flexible in posture, softer in overall presentation; dress suitably (and this included getting the right wigs for my face shape and outfits, as there is no real point in a lady my age having waist length hair, is there?); then, maybe most importantly speak like a female in external situations, both in terms of pitch of voce and choice of words and phrases.

Fast forward to the present and the last 10 years have been a revelation and, like many of us do, I often look back at the early photographs of myself and wonder. . . “What the. . . !?”

I am now confident and presentable; have found the right styles for me in terms of clothes and outfits and unequivocally have been able to go everywhere and anywhere: to functions, events; used a multitude of transport modes (including flying); walk in big crowds in shops, outdoor markets, airports and so on.

You might ask: why do I say I am acting when I am a male to female Transgender person,  shouldn’t it all come naturally?

Well, yes it all does come naturally but there is still a huge effort involved to maintain the image, the presentation and the appearance required so that others around and above have no inkling that I spent the first 80% of my years appearing to be the opposite gender!

I’m not acting in the strict sense of pretending, or trying to portray someone I’m not. No, I’m acting to cover that little bit, or those minor quirks, of femininity which genetic girls have — and which I wasn’t fortunate enough to have been born with!

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Category: Body & Soul, How To, Opinion

About the Author ()

Christine has written numerous (at least 150) articles, columns, op-eds, features & stories for well known T magazines, websites & e-zines; she also works as a part time fiction editor for Club Lighthouse Publishing, and is a co-editor of an award winning T-girl Magazine. In addition, she has written 8 adult books mainly in the T sub-genre which have been published by Club Lighthouse Publishing, for whom she has been the best selling author for the last 5 years.

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