By Jordan Redford Gray – Tall Dark Friend
Life is wonderful.
That’s not a generalization or an optimist’s lament. It’s the product of deductive reasoning. It’s a bona fide statement of fact. We just have difficulty perceiving it long-term.
The latter is particularly true of Trans people BEFORE they transition. But when your physicality finally aligns with your psyche, the true nature of reality explodes into view like a Roman Candle. Similarly, remarkable things start to wriggle from the woodwork. I’ll be 26 years old and 2 months on HRT when this blog goes live; growing exponentially happier with every passing hour. You WILL be OK. I wouldn’t promise you that if I didn’t believe it, reader.
“A lot of girls out there have penises” my doctor said. Likewise, a lot of guys have vaginas. I simply refuse to have my social identity determined by the contents of my jeans or genes, respectively. The latter doesn’t matter. The former is between Mr Calvin Klein and me.
The world is not Black and White like it was in the opening sequence of The Wizard of Oz. And, just like Dorothy, people will come to see the rainbow eventually. I’m pretty sure they introduced colour back in 1953? But even in B&W, trust me: ‘50’ is a staggering underestimation when it comes to ‘shades of Grey’.
I am a Trans female recording artist from Essex – stage name: Tall Dark Friend – currently couch-surfing between the UK and Scandinavia. I love the Swedes, the Nords, the Danes, the Fins… I gig a lot in Sweden and it’s like another planet. A ‘flat pack planet’. A ‘flanet’. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my crazy lil’ meatballs out there in Abbaland. Jag älskar er alla så mycket!
It was made aware to me very early on that the two things that HRT definitely wouldn’t change were my skeleton and my voice. My bones and my tones. I will always be 6ft tall with size 11 feet. That’s just the way it is. And if you begin HRT after your voice has already dropped, it doesn’t ‘un-drop’. That’s not a thing. You have to learn to manipulate your voice manually to reach the desired level of femininity. Which you think would be no problem for a singer, right? Wrong. It’s so hard! Tough I’m convinced it’s psychological. Doctors have achieved mixed success in the field of VFS (Voice Feminisation Surgery) but I’m not let anyone near my vocal chords. Not in this line of work. Same goes for my Eve’s Apple: it’s staying.
As it stands, I’m closing in on album #7, currently filming music video #5 (#HangWithThe Happiness) and scheduled to appear at a few dozen festivals up and down the UK in 2015. I came out to my home county, on stage, in November 2014 @ The Essex Entertainment Awards – clinging timidly to the awards for ‘Best Original Song’ & the gender-neutral ‘Best Original Artist’. This April, I am overwhelmed to announce that I’m nominated for 4 more: including ‘Best Female Solo’. I cried when I saw my name in that category alongside the other girls. Thanks to the hormones, I cry at most things these days #HappyTears :’) Then again, can you blame me? I mean… have you SEEN ‘Cat Hugs Baby Kitten Having Nightmare’!? Youtube it.
I am proud to be a woman, of any delineation. I am proud to be Trans and of the inherent struggle. I’m proud of Essex – of England – of Earth! But with such opportunity to be prideful in our lives, I think it’s important that we cling to our humility with the same intensity as we do our accolades. Music is a cutthroat industry and I try to live my life mindful of others’ toes and shoulders… so as not to tread on either. Put exquisitely by Hendrix: “Music is our mission, not a competition”.
Off stage, outside of the music, I’m an independent author. My début novella ‘Dog Bless The Day’ is basically ‘Animal Farm meets Fear & Loathing’… if ‘basically’ is the right word for a car-crash of a concept like that? Novel #2 is the first in a 5 book New-Adult Thriller series and Novel #3 is a standalone Sci-Fi Spaghetti Western (due for release in 2016). On the side, I’m penning a 2nd autobiography: the story of ‘a MTF transition told with humour and heart’. I literally can’t stop writing. Like right now. All I do is type. See? Look! Somebody. Pleeease!? Stop meeeeeeeeee…
When all’s said and done… what REALLY turns me on is my independent research toward a G.U.T (Grand Unifying Theory *of Physics*) It’s a theorem that marries Gravity with the other 3 Fundamental Forces. Science is sexy. Simple as that. Best of all it’s open to everyone and, to prove it, I’ll be TWEETING my accumulated work – just for the lolz. I have my little heart set on being the first Transgender woman to publish a pioneering G.U.T. It’s thirsty work… but I’m happy to settle for a soy cappuccino (no sugar) since I’ll be officially 14months sober when this blog comes out. If you drink: Quit. It’s terrible for your brain. And for Trans people, it doesn’t hurt to start your HRT with a clean bill of health.
Life’s too short to waste it wondering. Be good to yourselves and trust in the goodness of other people. It’s not 1955 (more’s the pity, I love me some rock-a-billy-roll!). I promise you it’s not as scary out here as you think. Come out. Play!
Oggle me on Youtube: ‘Tall Dark Friend’
Poke me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TALLDARKFRIEND
Twote me on Twitter: @Talldarkfriend
Or, if you’re reeeally dead set on following me… just follow me in real life. Get in a line behind me and we can figure out some kind of Creepy Conga. I’m game.
All my love, forever and always <3
Ms Jordan Redford Gray
Tall Dark Friend