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Introducing Doll, Racked's first transgender guest blogger. Always secretly wishing he'd been born a Barbie, Doll was a young army brat who grew up and became a citizen of the world. After landing in Manhattan, he became a New York fashion insider, working in a high-powered industry position, living a life worthy of a feature film.
After mysteriously vanishing from the scene, Doll recently resurfaced and has embarked on a new roller-coaster ride of a journey. Follow his transformation, week by week, right here on Racked.
"I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn and we are led to those who help us most to grow, if we let them. And we help them in return. Well, I don't know if I believe that's true, but I know I'm who I am today because I knew you." —Glinda the Good Witch, Wicked
Doll: Dr. Ken and I have known each other for seven years—gone through thick and thin, ups and downs, you name it. We simply complement each other and help each other become the best of the best, in our respective lives and careers. I know I can’t please everyone with the life-changing decision I've made—and I'm not seeking approval in any way, I can only hope for acceptance. Below is a candid interview with Dr. Ken on what he thinks about my transition.
How would you describe my alter ego “Doll”?
Dr. Ken: You want to become this male fantasy—which, by having certain access and money, paired with your creativity, is definitely possible. You do things to the point of perfection, and I have no doubt you will create such a façade that you will become the epitome of what a man wants. As Doll, you definitely have more confidence, and exuding this confidence is something you discovered years ago by playing pretend with a wig. My wish for you is that you would have taken the personality you have as Doll and applied that to yourself without any transitioning, thus making you more attractive as a guy. As it is today, I think your alter ego is completely costume-based, which scares me—a complete façade that isn’t really you.
How would you describe me? Or should I rephrase and say—because I am in the process of transitioning—How would you describe me seven years ago when we first met?
Dr. Ken: No need to rephrase the question, you are who you are today, the same person you were before, and the same person you will always be—five, ten, twenty years from now. When I think about you, I think of someone who is extremely smart—like I always say, you have to learn from people you surround yourself with, and I think that was my immediate attraction to you. I like how detail-oriented you are, how you’re so articulate—this was also an attraction because my mind doesn’t work like that. I look at things for the big picture and remember summaries. You look at details and pick it apart. Between the two of us, I think we have two great minds that complement each other. As you know, you’re not the type of person I would usually choose to hang around, but outside of my fascination with your intelligence, there were also the obvious traits—you're sweet, endearing, and creative. I’m glad there were factors that forced us together allowing me to get past my immediate judgements.
What are your thoughts on my transition?
Dr. Ken: Well I don’t support you, and I never want you to have an inkling that I support you. I have always said that I was 100% against it, but would always be 100% in support of you. I want to make it clear that I think you are making the wrong decision, and feel you have tried to justify the transition with all the wrong reasoning. Even though I do not support the decision to transition, I always wanted you to know that I would be there for you—again, not supportive of it, but be there for you. It’s a fine line of how to figure out how to handle that—to tell you that you’re making a big mistake, yet try and give you support at the same time—but thats a fine line that must not get blurred. All of our friends are stumped as to how to handle their reactions, but be aware that nobody supports you in this. They choose not to make such a stand as I have, in efforts to make sure that you know that they love you, they care about you, they will be with you regardless. And I understand portraying that message can get misconstrued, but I’ve always felt I needed to be firm on how I feel. This is something life-changing for you, that I don’t agree with, it’s not like I’m telling you to “go change your belt because it looks disgusting.” It’s “you’re fucking up your life."
With that said, I’m not opposed to transsexuals in situations where they truly believe they are born into the wrong body, but I don’t feel this is your case. You are an effeminate, prissy, gay boy, so let’s just call a spade a spade. That’s what you are, so don’t try and be someone different just because you feel being a woman will open more doors. You’ll never be a woman, regardless of how perfect the façade looks, you’ll always be different. There will always be something amiss and you won’t blend into the group of people you are hoping to fit into. I honestly think you just want to become a woman, for the attention and to capture a particular kind of husband. You are being very delusional with yourself.
Why are you hurting me this way? But whatever, you are entitled to your own opinion.
Dr. Ken: Out of the concern that you’re being delusional. You’re not realizing that if you put your focus on having more confidence as the person you are today, you would be the exact person you are aspiring to be as a woman. There is no need to alter your body potentially creating complications.
Did you think I would actually go through the process of transitioning?
Dr. Ken: No. You’ve said it for awhile—but, again, even talking about doing it, I always felt it was for shock value. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I feel naturally as a person, you have the need to be the center of attention—you like walking in the center of the room and being noticed—seeking approval, seeking attention. That’s what you feed off of. You always want to have the top story—and what better way to trump any ones conversation by announcing you are becoming a woman. It’s so outlandish.
So no, I really didn’t think you would ever do it—not even after you went to your doctors, not even after you started injecting the hormones. I thought it was going to be just another notch on your belt to actually say that you’ve done it, shocking people—never thought you’d go into it full force.
Have you noticed any positive changes since I’ve taken the hormones?
Dr. Ken: Nothing positive, I think everything has been negative.
Fine. So, have you noticed any negative changes since I’ve taken the hormones?
Dr. Ken: (laughs) First of all, your mood swings are absolutely unbearable—unbearable. It drives me and everyone else absolutely NUTS.
But I’m becoming so beautiful!
Dr. Ken: Um, no. You’re becoming less beautiful. I mean despite your hair-line growing back, which I am actually so happy for you, I was really scared that you were losing your hair. But as you are now, (pause) you look? weird.
You were such an attractive gay boy—you were charismatic, you dressed like no other, you had extremely sharp, defined features. But now your face has softened. As a boy your cheekbones were strong and your jawline was very defined. And yes you are beautiful, and you’ll always be beautiful. But as a faux woman you will have less appeal because of the softening of your features. Even when you would simply dress up, before the hormones, you were on an entirely different level than you are today. The sharp features were making you so exotic. Again, instead of gaining, you’re losing that appeal.
How do you feel about other people’s reaction towards me when we walk down on the street? The way they respond to me? The way I am perceived?
Dr. Ken: Before I embraced your look because you stuck out, you got a lot of attention. The way you dressed was always on-point, the way you carried yourself, you simply stood out.
Today you are looking like a freak. Again, with the softening of your face, you’re losing your immediate appeal.
Prior to the changes, women were interested in you due to how you looked and dressed. And straight men embraced you—you were not a threat, and often they went through you to get to the beautiful women you were with. You enjoyed that. Now, I’m scared the guys are going to be so confused to the point of them not being comfortable around you.
But before people were confused, now I think they are more understanding.
Dr. Ken: I see the opposite. I feel now you are confusing people. You are not sticking out in a positive light anymore, it’s now that you’re a sore thumb because you are confusing to people. You are confusing to me. Whenever you walked down the street the other day to meet me, when I was leaving for Las Vegas, you looked like a freak. Your chest was sticking out, and I understand you are wearing more button downs to conceal the changes, but it’s not working. You also had your big white Goyard bag, which A., I don’t think you should be carrying that bag in the first place—it’s a sack!— and B. that bag is looking tattered? so you looked like a tattered mess! (laughter) Not to mention, you had a scarf tied around your head, which just looks ridiculous anyway. Even though you are looking more feminine, you aren’t helping your situation by doing what you’re doing. I understand you’re in an awkward phase right now, but you not knowing how to dress, for the time being, really shows. It’s like—I seriously did not (visually) enjoy having you by my side that day.
Do you have any fears for me? What scares you the most with me doing this?
Dr. Ken: Two things: To preface, I think you will be able to get closer to being the perfect woman than probably any transgender has ever been able to reach—physically. Just by default of you being a perfectionist, I know you will do it and do it to perfection. But regardless as to how well it is done, as I mentioned before, you will never look quite right.
With that said, the first thing I fear is that you will be SO close to being this epitome of a woman, that you actually will find the perfect guy that you’re after. But once he realizes what you actually are, his response WONT be positive. So, I do actually fear that one day I will get a call saying you have been chopped into pieces and I really don’t want to deal with that.
I’m sure you think this would never happen, and feel the type of guy you seek would be far more educated than to respond in such a way, but love is blind, and for it to be jerked from under you, he could react before he realizes what he is doing. I honestly don’t think this would happen to you, but it is a very real possibility.
I can always choose to tell them upfront—which, I plan on doing.
Dr. Ken: Yes, you can choose to be upfront, but you’re not after a simpleton—you can’t tell people and have the life that you’re delusional enough to think you’ll have. These guys have the ability to already select from the top percentage of the population—they are not going to choose to be with someone that’s completely manufactured. And regardless of how they feel, they are not going to be willing to risk the things they have worked their entire life for—education, jobs, social network etc.—to be with a former man, potentially destroying the way that they have branded themselves.
My second fear, which is probably my actual fear for you, is that once you have passed the point of no returning to the person you were before, and when you’ve gotten a little older, you will realize that you have actually made a mistake. I fear that your delusional thinking, and my suspicions, will have proven to be just that: delusions. All while leaving you with a distorted body that needs constant care just to stay remotely believable—and, more importantly, a lack of companionship, a companion that you could have potentially had, had you not been chasing castles on a cloud.
I feel that with all your gifts, you have a far greater purpose than to simply be entertainment. And I think being the achiever you are, once the façade ages, becoming inevitably cracked, not allowing you to be the entertainment that you once were, you are going to experience a void. This is going to be a real low point for you, but I still hope I’m by your side to get you through it.
You know, you can be a real bitch at times, and sometimes I think you are the one on your period with crazy mood swings. Are you sure you're not the one on hormones?
Dr. Ken: (laughs) We’re done here.
I love you!
Dr. Ken: (laughs) Yes, but I love you more.
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