I’ve spent a lot of time umming and ahhing about whether or not I wanted to post this. I don’t often talk about The Big Things because I’m not good at it, plus there’s a couple of IRL friends following this account who I’ve never technically come out to (though there’s a really good chance they’ve guessed by now). Anyway, I’m talking about the fact that Eddie Izzard is really important to me.
I’m someone who is really self conscious about my gender. I struggle to express myself in public and often even in private, and I’m extremely hesitant to label myself with the word that I know is me. I still have so many hang ups where I’m afraid of being derided or told I’m making things up or worst of all that I’m actually harming people with “real” gender identity issues. All this despite it being a doctor and gender specialist who gave me the word “genderfluid” in the first place.
Eddie Izzard has been a household name in my family since before I was even born. My parents are huge fans of her comedy. There were never any comments made about her appearance (except my mum occasionally mentioning liking her tops). I even remember my dad praising her for the phrase: “They’re not women’s clothes, they’re my clothes. I bought them.” Eddie Izzard was just Eddie Izzard. There was nothing strange or off about her. She was just Eddie Izzard.
When Eddie came out as genderfluid it was huge for me. To see someone like myself, who would present in wildly different ways depending on the day, to use the same word as me was incredible. It was especially impactful as this was someone who was, and continues to be, a very popular and accepted name in my family’s house. It’s strange how a complete stranger’s gender can have such an impact on one’s own feelings of legitimacy, but it really can. It certainly can’t be said that my parents really understood what being genderfluid meant but they accepted it and that’s really what matters.
I’m incredibly lucky that my parents have always been so supportive (if often very confused) about my gender dysphoria and I’m eternally grateful for that. Though, because we’re a family that tends not to talk too much about deep things such as this and it was such a non-issue for them, I’m fairly sure my dad’s probably forgotten. That’s fine though because now I know that if I ever need any more lifts to the hospital or even a pronoun change, I’m not risking losing my family over it. It’s an incredibly privileged position to be in. In some ways, I really won the parent lottery.
The point is, it is so amazing and so important to have someone I can look up to, who is out there using these labels and showing the world that we exist and we are real. Though it does make me just a little sad because I know that she probably never had anyone like that when she was young and confused like I was.
Trans people being out and proud and presenting themselves how they want with the pronouns that are properly theirs does not hurt or take away from anyone. It just doesn’t. But it really does give the world a whole lot.