To London, where I hung around while Kate Bornstein – writer, trans activist, former sex worker, ships mate and Scientologist – was being interviewed on Woman’s Hour. Then we spent a brilliant hour (brilliant for me, at least) over a pot of tea talking about her amazing life. Here is my interview.
A few bits that didn’t make it in:
“I’m a socialist and anarchist.”
On being an older woman and dealing with the good and bad of invisibility: “When you’re a trans person, visibly trans, you’re always watching over your shoulder. Now I walk through the world and I look like a little old lady. People don’t pay that much attention to older people, especially older women. I do everything I can not to make myself invisible. But until that point, walking out of the house always carried with it fear.”
“So many of transgender activists beat themselves up really hard for not doing enough and they are terrific people but they are echoing 70s and 80s feminists in that there are no jokes. There is very little sense of humour in the trans world now. It’s all about finding your authentic self and that’s great feeling, but I think a better feeling is fun.”
“We all break rules of gender, we all feel stifled to some degree by what we’re told: ‘you can’t do because real men shouldn’t’; ‘You can’t do that because little girls shouldn’t’. To that extent people are trans, not necessarily transgender.”