In a 2014 Buzzfeed short documentary, you discuss how you identify as male, but aren’t planning on transitioning. How has that decision changed the way you feel about your body?
“I wouldn’t say ‘I’m not planning on transitioning.’ It’s always a realistic option for me; I just want to make sure I’m doing it for myself and not just for others to ‘see me better.’ On one hand, I have been raised with and live the ‘female experience’ because of my appearance. I understand women, and the born stigma that we female-bodied people fight against every day. As a trans person, I actually identify most with the elderly and women, in that they are identified in society by what they look like (even subconsciously), not by who they are behind the wrinkles or tits. And I will never make fun of your period. That shit is no joke.
“On the other hand, I have the mind, thoughts, instinct, and identity of a guy who happens to be straight. So I also have the experience, not only of a woman in this country, but a homosexual woman.
“And I struggle with my male ego, trying not to wake up every day feeling emasculated — because honestly — I believe women have had to evolve through so much projection of ideas and identities of what women are and how they appear and what roles they are expected to fill or not fill. This obstacle course of a life and having various tactics, practices, and advice learned and passed on to women in order to progress and survive has made them, in my experience and opinion, the stronger and more evolved sex.
“So the decision not to 'pass' as male is hard, because it feels as though I am living in a costume, yet I am so grateful that because of the steps I’ve walked in this body, I have the insight and connection and welcoming into a powerful, loving force that is the female community. I’ve been able to see and experience things that most men are not privy to or expected to experience. And that makes me a better man.”
You’re also a writer, actor, podcaster, and personal assistant. How do you juggle all these jobs?
“To be honest, I don’t always juggle my jobs well. I get overwhelmed and stuck and I drop the ball a lot. But I try to change little things and never stop trying. I’m really good at what I do and have a hard time saying no to stuff or turning gigs down, and my plate gets too full. But I’m learning. Hopefully that will never stop.
“Also, check out the legendary comic and actor Judy Gold’s podcast: Kill Me Now! Judy Gold is the best!! (See what a good assistant I am? Damn, maybe I need an assistant… )”
Can you tell us a little about the one-man show you’re working on?
“Ugh, I hate the term ‘one-man-show.’ I promise it will be better than that — so much cornball stigma associated with the genre. Let’s call it a 'solo show!' It’s a funny play about a boy whose penis never grew in and how he dealt with it. At the moment it’s called typecast, but that title may change. I will be doing a workshop of it soon to show its production to prospective creatives who may want to be involved. Stay tuned!” Photographs by Ryan Pfluger.