“Everyone Is A Bit Transgender” talk occurred on October 12th in the HUB at State College. This presentation starred Ian Harvie, who is a transgender male himself and is a comedian, actor, and writer. What better timing than National Coming Out Week to speak with students about his own journey of transforming from a girl, to a lesbian, to a transgender man?!
The comedy presentation started off with a woman introducing Harvie, and before he stepped on stage, she claimed that one of his many phrases was that, “Laughter unites all.” The audience was sat anxiously awaiting for the man who proved this statement to be completely authentic.
Once Harvie, was applauded by his appearance on stage, he began telling everyone that even at an early age, he was arguing with his mother about clothes. It soon became noticeable that Ian was much more than just a tomboy. Throughout his performance, you will see that his story is full of realizations; moments that clicked and helped him discover more and more of who he was urging to become.
Another “Aha!” time in his life was in high school, where Ian noticed how extremely different she was from other girls. (“She” was not yet transitioned.) He jokingly went on to claim that he dated guys simply because they “had what he wanted: cars, motorcycles, girls.” Guys at this age seemed to only be interesting because they were who he desired to become.
One of the most memorable stories told by Harvie was his coming-out experience. She (at the time) wrote an eight-page letter to her parents explaining her situation and her feelings. She also came out on Easter. Why Easter? Because “Jesus has risen! I’m transgender!” he comically roared throughout the audience.
When Harvie met his first girlfriend, and defined himself as a “lesbian” at the time, his mother was not the most thrilled a mother could be. The first time the girlfriend came over, Ian’s mother told her to “never come back.” Over time, Harvie realized why she acted this way towards his girlfriend. It was not because she did not accept him for who he was. She was simply afraid for him. She feared that her son would be hurt by others because he was different. His mother was aware that world has a fear themselves of those who are different, and not everyone is so accepting.
Not only was this comedian’s personal story told, but he also reassured the audience that it is normal to feel different. “If you feel 100% about your body and gender, YOU are a f****** weirdo because the rest of us are struggling!” The audience exploded with laughter and comfort.
The inspirational speaker then talked about his journey of transitioning. “Triple D’S are beautiful, just not on me” was a comical thought he had before the transition. Furthermore, the testosterone for more male features made him “want to f*** things I can’t f***” because he was so stimulated 24/7! He also reassured the audience that even after the evolution, it is normal to have thoughts similar to both men’s and women’s, because they are both a part of who you are. Once checking a girl out walking down the street, he thought, “Wow! Check that out!”, but then his past feminist side kicked in and said, “Stop that! Respect women!”
Overall, Ian Harvie’s performance was both comical and endearing at the same time. He believes that sharing his journey doesn’t only help him discover who he is, but also allows the audience to discover and relate themselves.
Photo credit: bandsintown