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Transgender model Lea T on why she came out

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  1. She’s so honest in a way not many people would be. She’s not trying to make herself come off better or justify herself; she’s only describing how she feels. More power to her I say.

  2. Good for her – she should be proud of herself for having the courage to be herself in the face of prejudice and lack of understanding.

    A

  3. It’s an ad campaign for givenchy not greenpeace. Nothing brave about that

  4. poetic license 14 Dec 2010, 10:38am

    No TS I know would want such publicity as it would haunt them for life. maybe I am a cynic

  5. Do tell us, James, how an advert for Greenpeace is brave?

    She has been brave and it’s very important that there are more successful, openly trans people in the public eye.

  6. I find Leas story rather worrying. Obviously Lea may not be telling all the most intimate facts, but going on what she is quoted as saying, it does not fit the usual transsexual experience for someone to have needed prompting to try “drag queen shoes” in her early twenties before starting to realise she identifies as a woman.

    Yes, she is clearly using hormones, and says she is arranging reassignment surgery, and I wish her every luck and happiness, but the fact that a man whose last name she has adopted has so encouraged her, prompting her to try a more female appearance, employing her, then giving her huge prominence in an advertising campaign, makes me worry that she is perhaps not in control of her own life and maybe heading for tragedy.

    Most transsexual younger people – ones who are not just kicking over years of hiding as males and asserting their trans status – really want to only be seen as the sex with which they identify, which Lea, splashed on billboards and big magazine spreads that don’t hide the genitalia, can now never do. Talking of being a “tranny” (a hate term when away from gay world) is another sign.

    The fact that this is happening in Italy, a macho culture where there are quite odd attitudes to transsexuality, with what are effectively Latin American-style “travestie” (feminised gay men who do not identify as women) hosting television shows, participating in vast glamour competitions, and many in sex work, but getting reassignment surgery is really difficult (a situation we certainly do not want spreading to here), adds to the questions.

    The fact that it is the New York Times, which is great on gay issues, but terrible on transsexual ones, usually equating transsexuality with homosexuality gone too far – pushing the Fourattist, Blanchard and Bailey line that the most “attractive transsexuals” are really “extreme homosexual guys” – which has created this as a serious story, makes me even more concerned. And then that I’m seeing lots of gay men encouraging her, and the trans people more just welcoming the positive media coverage. But how far is this story from the old, 1960s coverage of April Ashley as a showgirl and fashion model, or Caroline Cossey as a model and “Bond girl”? It is isn’t normalising.

  7. Jenny Scott 14 Dec 2010, 11:23am

    After 35 years in the closet I came out aged 40 in 1993. To overcome all those years in the closet I had to teach myself that it was not me but society’s judgement of me that that was wrong. I knew then that I could not go into another closet. I am transgender and there is nothing wrong with that. In the intervening years I have rebuilt my life, career, relationship – all for the better. Yes I am women and that is how my family, friends and colleagues treat me but to deny my past would be to take away 1/2 of my lived experience and why must I make that sacrifice to appease a judgemental and ignorant world?

  8. Marlow a discussion is fine but I get the impression that you want to supress my opinion so I will not respond to your question

  9. I’m trans and I’ve only worn drag queen shoes once. They weren’t my cup of tea, but it didn’t stop me transitioning. We come in all shapes and sizes.

  10. As an Italian transgender I’m so happy to hear that….it’s a pity that she’s not weel known in her native country!

  11. ‘Marlow a discussion is fine but I get the impression that you want to supress my opinion so I will not respond to your question’

    Well that is rather unfortunate because I’d genuinely like to hear why an advert for greenpeace is considered a brave thing to do.

  12. Jenny Scott:
    > After 35 years in the closet I came out aged 40 in 1993. To
    > overcome all those years in the closet I had to teach myself
    > that it was not me but society’s judgement of me that that was
    > wrong. I knew then that I could not go into another closet.

    Living ones life entirely as the sex one always needed to be is not living in a closet. That’s an entirely inappropriate, and hateful misuse of gay terminology.

    > …I am
    > transgender and there is nothing wrong with that. In the
    > intervening years I have rebuilt my life, career, relationship –
    > all for the better. Yes I am women and that is how my family,
    > friends and colleagues treat me but to deny my past would be to
    > take away 1/2 of my lived experience and why must I make that
    > sacrifice to appease a judgemental and ignorant world?

    Yes, there’s nothing wrong with you being transgender. Just don’t project your experience and needs on others. For me, knowing from age two that I needed to be female and asking for help in that, and being obstructed and punished for it, there was nothing in my life pre-transition that was in any way a sacrifice to forget. It was cruel, humiliating, terrifying. Anyone who suggests I should wear the label of such a past by terming me transgender, instead of woman, is assailing _my_ life, and appeasing a judgmental and ignorant world (to use your terms).

  13. Jacqueline 21 Feb 2011, 1:51pm

    Live and let live!

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