Open letter to Joan Cleese

Joan Cleese coming out tweet

Dear Mrs. Cleese,
I am very glad to read that you are coming out, or thinking about coming out. I’m glad that a public figure like you is taking an interest in the Transcommunity. Always look on the bright side, and every life is sacred.

I know you don’t try to irritate people. That would just be nasty. I don’t know what you do nowadays, instead of enjoying public discourse on twitter. Maybe you invent ridiculous bets to bet on, or invent a race for money and invite people that just check into a certain hotel. Whatever floats your boat I guess.

Back to transgenders though. You know that transgenders are killed just for being transgender, right? So, in your coming out, I think this is a brave decision. I hope you don’t do it to peek at ladies in the lockerroom, because that would just be weird and frowned upon. What do you do with Lesbians that still go in lockerrooms being attracted to women? Do they have to be segregated too? Maybe just sort them by colour again? Where would it end, mrs Cleese?

Maybe I know nothing, because I am from Belgium (not far from Barcelona) and my name also begins with an M. Maybe a little bit to much similarities.

Maybe you still think this clip is relevant. After all those years. it’s a bit dated though, but a good primer.

Joan Cleese teaching sex, before coming out

I don’t know why it is any business of yours to concider what anybody else would do with their bodies. Are you against gays as well? Maybe a bit of racism? Would be a nice potpourri, no? Maybe you could make a new movie about it. KKKrazy (just a suggestion for a title).

If you are really questioning, which I doubt you are, which I even doubt you really came out (what do I know what goes on in your head). If you fear transgenders so much, maybe lock yourself in a high castle, put on a tinfoil hat and fart in general directions of people asking you questions. I know I have seen this somewhere, but I don’t know the movie anymore.

Some weird dude being xenophobic

I don’t know if you really believe this stuff, really ask questions or it is plain satire at this point. I have seen you debate against your satire on christianity, with respectable people, so I know you are intelligent. I just don’t get why an 80 year old guy (or woman I don’t know which you prefer already at this point in your transition), would even give a shit (I know you like this kind of language so I don’t have to tone it down a bit), about what other people think. You made Monty Python together with other comedic visionaries. It was new, satirical and conquered subjects then that would now even be weird and over the top to put on tv, but you did it so many years ago.

There are many hoops transgender people have to jump through, the first one is their own self doubt. Weekly I see people asking if they are really trans in the first place. They scrutinize their whole history on this planet, just to make sure if what they feel is valid. I know it probably isn’t your intention to doubt these people that scrutinize their whole life. You just want to weed out those that would “out” themselves, just to make peeping tom actions easier.

Do you think that with a moustache as magnificent as yours, you would be allowed in any dressing room? That is generally the first thing Transgender woman want to lose. Debates and discussions online and in private are shared on how to lose facial hair. None of us want it.

Even presenting yourself in female attire is something a lot of us question and mostly put of until we feel we are ready to socially transition. We are not fetishists that want to peek at female bodies. We are genuinely people that hate the body we are given by nature, because it doesn’t match the instructions our brain gives us. We are ostracised by humanity, because they pick up unconciously or conciously that we are insecure and different and want to bully us. Most of us have been severely bullied. Were you bullied?

Most of us, transgender woman, have had a past of living as a man. Living as a lie, as a mask. Posing as someone else, something you really are not. Acting, but a role you can never shed, until you find what you really are, and you can finally admit to yourself that what you are wearing is a mask and to take it off, is a process, hoops you have to jump through.

The moment you realize you have a mask on, and admit to yourself that you have a mask on, is something powerful. Mostly it begins by admitting that you would like to be female, or notice female things about yourself, mannerisms, little things.

For me, personally, I had older sisters. I loved snowwhite. I loved the story of the princess being rescued by a prince. I loved that she was given a chance to live and be herself around people that genuinely loved her. Until an evil crone, something to do with witchcraft, gave her an apple and tried to poison her. It could have been a book about a young wizarding student or a tweet by that author as well, I don’t know.

I loved putting on their dresses (my sisters). I loved the fabric, I loved the freedom. I loved it. It put it on multiple times. I was 4 or 5. After that I never wore a dress again and passionately disliked anything feminine, but I was always drawn to female things. I was lost in an all male world (I tried believe me). I just didn’t fit. I was blunt (but being autistic does that with you). I knew I was bi in my twenties. Some guys eyes make me melt. A certain look and I am flustered. I dated only women. I don’t know why I bore you with my personal details, but I give you this, so you know how long this has been playing.

Last time I wore a dress and admitted to myself I was trans, was when my girlfriend was away for a week to puppysit her parents dogs. A dress hung over the shower curtain and I tried it on. it fitted me perfectly and I was elated. I loved the feeling. I was euphoric. It wasn’t just the dress, but I saw myself as I really was. I saw Moira for the first time since ages. It was fun reconnecting. It was fun taking my male mask off for the first time since childhood and stepping on it. I still have to wear it, for now, but it feels strange. Moira wants to come out more and more. I want to live life as Moira, as the woman I am supposed to be. As me.

I don’t think you understand the feeling of taking that first hormone pill. The moment your endocrinologist writes you the prescription and hands it to you. It feels like a new lease on life (for us people that commit suicide when we are denied to live the life we need and crave).

Living a lie hacks into your own self-worth. You are a fake. You are not who you are supposed to be. It hurts. People see you hurting but they don’t know what to do, until you see that becoming a woman is possible. Becoming you is a thing that can happen, not just a fantasy you had. Not something you only have to see in the mirror.

I know at the start I poked fun at you, and cited things you have done in the past. That is research. Research is a powerful thing. I know you haven’t done any research and only look for posts that come by on your timeline from equally powerful people like you, that might share the same political view, and this creates a cocoon of same opinions. I advice you to read outside your white, male, cisgender bubble and look for other opinions than those that amplify your own. Don’t knock them down. Read with an open mind. Try to learn something new. I know, teaching old dogs new tricks is difficult, but it can be done.

Try to walk in our shoes. Not like us, maybe we lost a shoe and held up the other. Don’t copy us, or brand us like witches because we have different opinions, but learn from us. Don’t let your life be ruled by fear. Fear of something new, but try to learn. Open up your mind again, Mr. Cleese. Be open to new ideas, like you once were. Creativity is being open to new ideas. Somebody wrote a book about it, let me see if I can find it for you.

Damn that face looks familiar.

I hope this letter gave you a perspective. A perspective on research, on creativity and looking through another persons eyes. I hope you become creative and look for ideas that might contradict your own, but look at the people behind them. Look at how transgenders influence your life. Are we really those malicious witches the media tries to make us out to be, like the gay person of the 70’s? Or the black person, since forever, or the jew during the nazi period?

Try to learn again, Mr. Cleese. Our lives and happiness depends on it.

Ps: this letter is for all people that comment on transgenders. All of you need to learn.

pps: learning new things isn’t bad. There are more than one book, and more than one opinion. Mine isn’t holy either.

Every post is written first in scrivener 3, which you can get a 30 day free trial of here at literature and latte.

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