Friday, April 21, 2017

TRANS-TALL - AND STANDING PROUD

A curly perm doth not an African American make. 

Neither doth changing your make-up to Black Up Matifying Fluid Foundation. 

Many South Africans agree and are this week up in arms at the arrival of Nkechi Amare Diallo, who arrived to speak at the inaugural event of Quest for Non Racial South African Society Dialogue. Nkechi, however, is not her real name; it’s her Nigerian adopted one. She changed it from Rachel Dolezal – which she changed from her birth name, Rachel Moore. 

And she’s not black. She’s white. Very. Born in Montana to parents of Czech, German and Swedish origin, she’s as white as a tub of Baskin Robbins vanilla ice cream. In fact, she’s so white, she couldn’t even pass for the vanilla with chocolate chip cookie pieces variety.
   
Lecturing to mostly black students about her struggle with her “authentic black identity”, she was President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter in Spokane, Washington, but resigned when it was revealed she had lied about being African American and alleged hate crimes against her. She was outed by her parents and became an instant media non-darling. 

Comparing her experience to that of trans-gender Caitlyn Jenner, she has now declared herself “trans-black”. She is everywhere on our TV screens, parading her trans-blackness with a perm that looks as if it has eaten Michael Jackson’s bouffant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s the kind of hair that is crying out not for a stylist but a topiarist.


What an inspiration!
   
The astounding revelation has had a profound effect on me and is now 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 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 NAD 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 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, I will continue to identify as tall. While she admits 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? 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.
   



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