The following is an excerpt from, Doll Parts, a new memoir by Amanda Lepore with Thomas Flannery Jr. published by Regan Arts.
Everyone has their own standard of beauty for themselves and the people around them. Some people don’t like the way I look. I’ve seen comments posted on my Instagram and the hate and ugliness are pretty powerful. But for every person who says I look like the Mistress of Frankenstein, there’s another who thinks I’m gorgeous. I don’t give a second thought to the negativity. You can’t control what people say about you. You can only control how you choose to react to it.
The reason I have such thick skin (figuratively, physically my skin is basically translucent) is that at the age of seventeen, I got my pussy. It was all I ever wanted out of life, and everything since then has just been a maraschino cherry on top. I’m so happy to be living the life I want in the body I want to have. I don’t let little things bother me.
Recently, I met this gorgeous, twenty-one-year-old Jersey boy named Marco. We started chatting and flirting (two things I’m very good at), when a friend of his yelled out to him, “She was a man! What are you doing?”
Marco apologized to me. “You’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I’ve been staring at you all night. They don’t make girls like you in Jersey.” He came back to my place and we had great sex (something else I’m good at). If I had let his friend bother me, I would have missed out on a ten-inch dick. I have a sixth sense for big dicks; it’s a blessing and a curse.
Many transgender girls are scared, vulnerable, and miserable in their own bodies. They can’t speak up for themselves because they’re too busy trying not to get clocked. They are focused on blending in and living their lives as naturally born women. I, on the other hand, have no interest in anything “natural.” I’d rather look like Jessica Rabbit or Marilyn Monroe. So I always felt it was important to be open about how happy I am to be transsexual, to give a voice to all the girls who don’t have one.
Now, times are changing. You have Laverne Cox on the cover of Time. Janet Mock is a New York Times best-selling author. Carmen Carrera is bringing it to the kids. And Caitlyn Jenner . . . well, she’s changed everything. These are strong, proud women who won’t hide in the shadows any longer.
The transgender civil rights movement is gathering momentum amazingly quickly. Yet some things are slow to change. Christine Jorgensen was the first transsexual woman to gain national media attention in the 1950s. If you watch videos of her talking to the press, she was very poised, articulate, and polite, but the reporters could be really unintelligent in their questioning.
Some sixty years later, trannies are still dealing with much the same thing. Being transgender raises a lot of questions and confusion for some people. Trans-phobic and trans-ignorant are two different things, and I’m so proud of Laverne, Carmen, and all the other girls who are speaking up and quieting ignorance through understanding. Visibility is power.
I wasn’t always so Zen. When I was younger, and vulnerable to other people’s opinions, I was up in arms over my identity. I was a woman, flat out. If someone used the wrong pronoun, I never corrected them. I was too scared to stand up for myself, but on the inside I was angry and sensitive. A lot of young people are angry and sensitive. If you happen to be young and transgender, then you’re used to people being hateful towards you when all you want to do is exist. Through all the insanity in my life, there was only one thing I could control: myself. On the outside, obviously, but on the inside too. I focused on not letting other people’s opinions have any effect on me whatsoever, and that’s how I’ve lived my life ever since.