The Teresa Jusino Experience

Create Like An Activist

New Words For Old Ones

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This weekend was a big deal. There are several things that happened – for example, I took a two-day filmmaking workshop that I’ll be talking about in greater detail here soon – but there was one thing that was the most important, and will (hell, it already has) change the course of my life.

In case you missed it, on Friday I posted an essay at The Mary Sue called “Why Sense8‘s Nomi and Amanita Are Everything (to Me),” wherein I reveal something pretty important:

My partner of two and a half years, about whom I’ve written here at the blog before, is a trans woman! πŸ™‚

You can read a lot about it over at the piece. I’m talking about it here again, because I realized that, since I do write about my personal life here, as well as my professional, that the way that I write about my love life has to change. After all, my love’s name and pronouns have changed. She is a she. As for her name – I don’t really share that in my public writing, because privacy, etc (though if we both end up SUPER-SUCCESSFUL AND FAMOUS in our respective careers, I guess names will come up soon enough!). Usually, if I’m referring to friends, I only use first names (unless they have a public life online as well), and they don’t seem to mind, but I’ve never used my partner’s name. As of right now, she doesn’t put herself out there in that way, and I don’t need to do it for her. Still, she does understand that I write about pretty much everything, and nothing is written in public about her of which she doesn’t approve.

Which is why it’s taken me this long for me to talk about dating a trans woman on my blog. I was respecting her boundaries and her ability to come out in her own time, and on Friday – which was the beginning of Trans Pride here in L.A. – she decided to do just that! πŸ™‚ I was so proud of her, and she’s already gotten so much support from our loved ones! Our close family and friends have known about her being trans since the end of last year, but it feels really amazing for her to be out now to the world. It changes everything in the best way in that, no matter what potential bullshit she might have to deal with in the future (and there may be a lot f bullshit), neither one of us has to be quite so careful what we say anymore.

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If you know me at all, you know it’s extremely difficult for me to keep my mouth shut! πŸ™‚ Hiding feelings and experiences is not something I do well, nor is it something I want to do well. I firmly believe that feelings and experiences are meant to be shared, and that too many problems arise when too many of us aren’t open about what’s going on with us. That’s what leads to feelings of inadequacy and being alone and a weirdo – when we all toil away in our own corners of the world thinking that no one else could possibly “have it as bad,” or “think these thoughts,” or “be like this.” It causes us to turn our anger and insecurity and fear inward, and that’s the worst thing to do. That’s no way to live!

Anyway, I’m getting off track. The point is – she’s out, and I’m thrilled she’s out. As I continue with this blog, and my writing, I realized that the way I wrote about my life had to change. For a long while, when I wrote about my love online, I called her “The Boy.” First, because it was before I knew she was trans. Second, because even after I knew, she wasn’t ready for the world to know. But using that phrase became increasingly difficult the further along she was in her transition. Not only did “The Boy” hurt her, but it also hurt me to use. I hated having to refer to her that way, because I knew it wasn’t true. So, I gradually started trying to not use pronouns at all. I started using phrases like “my partner,” or My Boo, leaving the gender pronouns out entirely.

But hereafter, she will be known as The GF. πŸ™‚ I’ve changed my old “The Boy” tag to reflect this and everything. I was thinking about sticking with My Boo, but being that her coming out is such a huge deal, it seems only fitting that I acknowledge her femininity in my nickname for her – even as I keep it short by using initials, because space.

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So, The GF and I went to Trans Pride this weekend at theΒ L.A. LGBT Center, and it was pretty rad. Amazon’s Transparent was the sponsor, and it was so funny – pretty much everyone there and their mom was in some way related to the show. πŸ™‚ Either they’d been an extra, or an actor in it, or something. Even The GF had worked on a project associated with Transparent! I felt like the only person there who simply watches the show! Anyway, I got there in the evening, but she’d been there all day watching all sorts of entertainment, meeting up with friends, grabbing food, and just enjoying the simple pleasure of being around people like her for once.

When I got there, it was just in time for the Awards Ceremony, and the VarieTy Show, both of which were really moving. The Awards Ceremony acknowledged two long-standing employees of The Center – one cis, one trans, one still alive, one who’d passed away – who’d gone above and beyond for the trans community. After that, the VarieTy Show, where trans singers, dancers, stand-up comics and other performers took to the stage and blew the roof off the place. My favorites? Alexandra Billings (yes, from Transparent!), who did a heartbreaking cover of Radiohead’s “Creep;” D’Lo (was in the project The GF worked on associated with Transparent), an actor who brings theater versions of his family on stage in a hilarious and heartwarming fashion; Ian Harvie (also from Transparent!) a HILARIOUS stand-up comic; and Our Lady J, a fierce musician with mean piano skills. The evening closed with a surprise special guest, Jenifer Lewis (you might know her from Black-ish or as Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray on Broadway, among a million other things). I had no idea that she worked so hard for the LGBT community, and that she was a part of early AIDS activism back in the day. Anyway, she brought the house down with Hairspray‘s “I Know Where I’ve Been,” which resonated with the LGBT crowd, and also because she sang it in honor of the victims of the church shooting in Charleston.

There was more of a party atmosphere later on at the Trans Pride after-party at Arena, a Hollywood night club. We went there for drinks, and to watch our friend HP Loveshaft/Lady Anastasia host her Pangaea Drag King Show. But after the show, the music came on…and was WAY too loud. I had Day 2 of my film workshop the next morning – and The GF and I are pretty much old people – so we didn’t stay long after our friend’s show.

Yes, there were some somber moments, but what I felt more than anything else that night was the high everyone was riding at a time when Laverne Cox is on TV, there’s an entire show centered around a trans woman on Amazon Prime, and one of the Kardashian-Jenners is a trans woman. The theme of the evening was “Our Time Has Come.” It certainly has.

And I’m so glad I get to follow The GF on this journey, wherever it takes us. πŸ™‚

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2 Comments

  1. πŸ™‚ If I could leave a hundred likes on this post, I would.

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