BY Advocate.com Editors
August 01 2009 12:00 AM ET
As I toil my way up the dusty trails of Hollywood's Runyon Canyon this two weeks after the season finale of Transamerican Love Story on Logo, the warmth and bright sunlight recall the day last year that I learned that I would star in my own reality dating show. At the time, I was fresh off of promoting our most recent short film, Casting Pearls, so my business partner Andrea James and I were thinking hard about what our next project should be.
In the decade since I was thrust into the awareness of much of the GLBT community by the movie Soldier's Girl and the tragic events that led to its creation, I felt that it was necessary to put aside my vampy, funny, transgressive stage personality and try to set the best example of being transsexual that I was capable of while so many eyes were upon me. Although even back in 1999 I already had nearly a decade of theater and musical experience on my resume, many people assume to this day that I sprang newly created into the universe after the premiere of Soldier's Girl, and whimsically settled upon a career as an actress and media producer only recently. In reality, I have only just begin to return to my roots.
Last year, I decided to definitively remove my self-imposed limitations and start bringing the “real me” back into the work I do. So when I received that phone call last year while walking in the bright Spring sunshine and was given the opportunity to develop a groundbreaking show based on the reality dating concept, I put aside fears about “what will the community think?” and went ahead, knowing that with Andrea, production company World of Wonder and Logo, we could make something really cool. And just as Casting Pearls allowed us to show my actress side, we thought a campy dating show could be the perfect way to show everyone that I was ready to publicly move forward from ten years of mourning the loss of my boyfriend with a smile and as much grace as I could muster. I wanted to be fun again, and to take more risks as an entertainer.