Eddie Izzard on Atheism, Transgender, and “The Invisible Bloke Upstairs”

Exactly who is giving Eddie Izzard an award says a lot about the actor-comedian's view of the world, and he expounds on them in this interview.

BY Becky Garrison of Religion Dispatches

March 08 2013 11:49 AM ET

What can parents say to be supportive of their children who are trans?
Just be friendly, supportive, and be positive. Don’t just go, “Oh my God!” But you could say, “Well, I wouldn’t wear that.” If blokes get in a dress, they don’t have anyone to bounce off—to say, you know, that’s not going to work.

More recently you’ve been appearing in what you call “boy mode.” Is there a particular reason for that?
Me being boy mode or girl mode has no difference on a performance or the way I live my life. I’ve been trying to be an actor from the age of seven. There is a perception thing. I can see show-runners, producers and directors if they go, “Oh the transvestite guy, I don’t know how that fits.” It gets as very fine as that. I kind of walk a tightrope now. I’m tactical. I tell everyone I’m a transvestite. It’s like if you’re gay, you don’t have go around having sex everywhere just to prove it. I’m just wearing what I wear, and I look kind of blokeish.

If I looked like Marilyn Monroe, actually I’d just throw anything on and a bit of eyeliner, and everyone would think I’m really girly. I also appreciate some of the boy aspects of me cause I am 100% boy, plus extra girl. That’s the weird thing. I’ve just sent off my dad’s genome and my genome and we’re going to compare them. But within it, there will be the transvestite, trans—well, I call transgender the whole group.

And then there’s transvestite and transsexual, which I believe are the same thing but it depends whether you take hormones to move yourself from transvestite to transsexual. The next person has a different thing saying, “No it’s not that. This is the name of it.” It’s a bit like where gay and lesbian were back in the 1950s.

How I’m looking is me trying to work out the best way of getting everything I’m trying to get in this life because there could be another one, but at the moment I’m only banking on this life. I don’t believe in the invisible bloke upstairs. 

Tags: Comedy

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