So, a Dutch “positivity trainer” has filed a lawsuit to have his age officially lowered by 20 years. He’s currently 69, so I’m baffled why he wouldn’t want it lowered by 40 years, as men of 49 are, by today’s standards, really past it. And try being a woman of 60, as I now am; we are now considered past it barely after reaching puberty.
Emile Ratelband has compared the change to those wishing to identify as transgender. Talk about hijacking an already overcrowded bus.
Do you remember Nkechi Amare Diallo, who wished to identify as black? She’d changed her name from Rachel Dolezal – which she had already changed from her birth name, Rachel Moore.
Comparing her experience to that of trans-gender Caitlyn Jenner, Nkechi declared herself “trans-black”. And subsequently appeared everywhere on our TV screens, parading her trans-blackness with a perm that looked as if it has eaten Michael Jackson’s bouffant for breakfast, lunch and dinner - the kind of hair crying out not for a stylist but a topiarist (she was charged with committing welfare fraud earlier this year, by the way).
But listen up: a curly perm doth not an African American make, any more than changing a piece of paper to knock years off your age won’t disguise the fact that your body isn’t keeping up with your brain.
However, I must now confess that these inspirational stories have had a profound effect on me and are forcing me to come clean about my own situation; I am just hoping that I will be met with the same understanding. Despite my diminutive appearance and the fact that I am biologically just five feet, I have decided I wish to identify as trans-tall.
All of you who called me Bridget the Midget when the song hit the charts when I was in school can laugh the other side of your faces now. The others, who addressed me as Titch (after the so-called comedy act, Titch and Quackers) can get lost, too. I am a very tall person who is short only in public perception, and Nkechi and Emile have finally given me the courage to come out regarding my true identity.
My life as a Lilliputian will henceforth no longer be known as Jaci and the Beanstalk; instead, I am registering a name far more suited to my trans-tall state: Longfellow Giraffe Brobdingnag.
I am not short, nor have I ever been. I have a T-shirt saying that I am a tall elf, but even that I find offensive. Why do people assume that the body into which you have been born is the one in which you live in your head? Just as NAD subjected her hair to electric shock therapy to suit the soul with which she most identified, so I am having leg extensions to comply with the being I know myself to really be.
Unfortunately, it involves having my legs broken in three places and having a set of circus stilts implanted from my ankles to my thighs, but this is who I am, right? You see? I am already adopting the lingo of my new tall persona.
Being trans-tall comes with so many advantages. I can shout “Oi! I was next!” while standing at a bar, without the person behind me being served first and spilling a pint of Stella over my head. I can jump queues by saying “I’m on the list”. I can put luggage into the overhead rack on a plane without having to stand on the seat and look helplessly to a man to give me assistance. I can reach every magazine on the top shelf.
None of this would be possible if I had been content to languish in the body that has been imposed upon me since birth.
I confess to having had a great deal of therapy before coming to terms with my trans-tall self. People always assumed that I was just a raucous Welsh dwarf who laughed too loudly and partied too much. Now, they will know the truth: I was a giant trapped in a small woman’s body, and there was just too much of me trying to contain itself in the tiny frame for which I was never meant.
Like NAD and her blackness and Emile and his age reduction, I will continue to identify as whatever I wish: namely, tall. While NAD eventually admitted to having being born to white parents but identifying as black, I confess that I was born to short parents. Dad was five feet six, Mum four feet nine and a half; yet I still identify as tall.
As one of NAD’s supporters said: she has chosen to self define and what’s wrong with that? Emile, too, is self-defining in a bid to combat age prejudice. I get it! Why let biology get in the way of a good delusion.
Yes, I have chosen to self-define, too.
I am trans-tall.
Live with it.
Step on me at your peril.