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Transgender actress Talisa Garcia says transitioning saved her life

Patrick Kelleher February 18, 2019
Transgender actress Talisa Garcia says transitioning saved her life

Talisa Garcia (Instagram)

Transgender actress Talisa Garcia has said that transitioning to female, and undergoing gender reassignment surgery at 18 years old, saved her life.

The 45 year old actress, who is currently starring in BBC miniseries Baptiste, made the revelation about her experiences as a transgender woman in an interview with the Telegraph.

“As soon as they gave it a name, everything became better.”

– Talisa Garcia

In the interview, Garcia revealed that she attempted suicide when she was a teenager, which led to her opening up about her gender identity.

“As soon as they gave it a name, everything became better,” Garcia said. Several years later, she underwent surgery, and told her parents: “If I don’t wake up, it’s fine. If I can’t have the operation, I won’t be here anyway.”

Talisa Garcia’s Baptiste character is also transgender

The Chilean-born English actress – who plays Kim Vogel in Baptiste, a new BBC miniseries – had kept her gender identity a secret until the series hit television screens.

In Baptiste, French detective Julien Baptiste, played by Tcheky Karyo, discoverers that Garcia’s character was born male. The portrayal on the show inspired Garcia to open up about her own experiences as a transgender woman.

The actress said that it has always been “a secret” and said she was “a bit embarrassed” of being transgender.

“There were a few battles at home. Mum bought me Barbie dolls and Wendy houses, and Dad would say: ‘We mustn’t encourage it.’”

– Talisa Garcia

Talisa Garcia also said that nobody has ever questioned her gender identity, which made her more inclined to keep her experience a secret.

In the interview, Garcia said she doesn’t expect “everyone” to accept her.

Transgender actress Talisa Garcia says transitioning saved her life
Talisa Garcia in Baptiste

“There’s nothing wrong with it if people don’t – as long as we’re all civil to each other,” she added.

Her parents tried to encourage her to behave like a boy

She also said that her parents had tried to encourage her to behave like a boy when she was a child.

“It wasn’t working,” she said. “There were a few battles at home. Mum bought me Barbie dolls and Wendy houses, and Dad would say: ‘We mustn’t encourage it.’”

“When it happens to your child – and you realise how much they suffer – you change your mind.”

– Talisa Garcia

However, her parents were ultimately accepting of her transition, with her dad telling her she would make “a beautiful woman.”

“My Dad wanted lots of boys and was, in a way, quite old school,” Garcia said. “But when it happens to your child – and you realise how much they suffer – you change your mind.”

However, the actress said she has had difficult experiences with romantic partners – some of whom have not been accepting.

In one painful break-up, she fled Spain where she was living after she told a boyfriend and his family that she was transgender, saying that they “really” didn’t accept her.

Posting on Twitter after the interview, Garcia said: “I must say, it feels like a huge weight of [sic] my shoulders. I can finally be me without pretending.”

Garcia has also appeared in Doctors and Silent Witness.

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