Boxer Goes Trans for Eli Stone
BY Ross von Metzke
December 30 2008 12:00 AM ET
So, in moving to Los Angeles and pursuing acting,
have you faced down some of that same discrimination
again -- in terms of what your
“type” might be? Yes, of course I do. On the one hand I could say
every day I face it. A lot of times, though,
it’s not blatant.
What’s something you hear over and over again? Seriously, I can in one day have responses from
people that are completely at the opposite ends of the
scale. There’s people who think I’m the
most beautiful female body builder there is, and then
there’s other people who think I’m just
horrible and hideous. Other people assume I’m
probably a drag queen. None of this offends me -- I just
roll with it because I love being who I am. So I
couldn’t really pinpoint one thing.
Do people ever make the assumption that you’re
not female? All the time. Probably 75% of the time they
assume I’m not female. And a larger percent of
the time, they’re just not sure -- there’s
always a doubt.
Does that make this character even closer to your
heart, then? Because it sounds like what trans people
face every day is, in a sense, something you face
every day. That’s very true. I think gender is very
complex. We could talk about it for hours and still
there’s more. I love that -- but it frightens some
people terribly. But I just think, this life is for me.
It’s for living, it’s for experiencing,
it’s for expressing who I am and learning and
growing. Labels are limiting. I use them because I have to
function in this society, but they’re subject
to change. I used to say I see myself as genderless,
but a good friend of mine who knows me pretty well said,
"I don’t see you as genderless -- I see you as
So this being your big network TV debut -- with
Eli Stone canceled, was there a concern that
they weren’t going to show your episode?There was -- it has been such an emotional,
anxiety-provoking time the last couple months.
There’s so many things -- from the moment I heard
about the role, there were so many parallels with me and the
character, even down to things I would have said, to
wording and description. Someone asked if it had been
written for me, which is such a huge compliment. I
felt so at one with it that, yeah, I was very concerned.
For me, my Christmas wish was that I just wanted my show to
air -- and Christmas is my birthday, so I got my wish.