Friday, April 21, 2017

TRANS-TALL - AND STANDING PROUD

There is outrage In South Africa – not for the first time, one has to admit. Now, though, it is over the arrival of Rachel Dolezal, a white woman lecturing mostly black students about her struggle with her “authentic black identity”, despite being biologically white. Ms Dolezal, you may recall, was outed by her white parents and has now even taken a Nigerian name – Nkechi Amare Diallo – to back her claims. Comparing her experience to that of trans-gender Caitlyn Jenner, she has pronounced herself to be “trans-black”.

This revelation is now forcing me to come clean about my own situation, and I am just hoping that I will be met with understanding. Despite the apparent appearance of my being just five feet, I am, in fact, trans-tall.

Yes, 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 Ms Dolezal has 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 Ms Dolezal had her hair frizzed up (as it were) to suit the soul with which she most identified, so I am having leg extensions to comply with the being I know I am. 

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 was 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 bird who laughed too loudly and partied too much. Now, they will know the truth: I was a tall person 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 Ms Dolezal and her blackness, I still identify as tall. Ms Dolezal admits she was born to white parents but she still identifies as being black. I get it! 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 Ms Dolezal’s supporters said: she has chosen to self define and what’s wrong with that?

Yes, I have chosen to self-define, too.

I am trans-tall. 

Live with it. 

Step on me at your peril.

   

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