Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Celebrate - One of Us

Alexandra Billings 
Success by a person in our community is a good reason to celebrate.  In my experience there is a trifecta of reasons for succeeding; hard work, ambition, opportunity.  Shouldn’t overcoming a disadvantage also be included? I think not because obstacles lie everywhere.

I have had moderate success in spite of dyslexia and the list of those that have dealt with this condition / disability is numerous.  E.g. Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs, John F Kennedy, Walt Disney… I am not comparing my self to any of these as to success but know that my disadvantage only meant I had to work harder.  

I know some within our community who have never been able to rise above being transgender. They obsess about gender reassignment surgery (GRS) until this conclusion consumes them. The question that begs to be answered - what do you want to be when you grow up? 

For the last several nights I have been binge-watching the Amazon Prime series, Goliath.  It stars Billy Bob Thornton as a disgraced alcoholic lawyer, now an ambulance chaser. He gets a case that could bring him redemption or at least revenge on the firm which expelled him. Producers David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal), Jonathan Shapiro (The Practiceare great storytellers and this one is A+. I have one episode left to finish season-one and was very pleased to find out that there will be a season-two, starting this month (June '18).  

Today’s celebration runs to Alexandra Billings (Transparent) who is set for a key recurring role opposite Billy Bob Thornton, Morris Chestnut, and Ana De La Reguera in the second season of Goliath. Yes, she is a member of our community. Here is how Hollywood Dateline describes her success.

The role is notable for Billings, who as a transgender actress, is breaking through to play non-trans-specific characters. Best known for her role as Davina, mentor to Jeffrey Tambor’s Maura on Transparent, Billings also stars in the feature film Valley of Bones opposite Autumn Reeser and Rhys Corio, set for release in September. It too is a non-trans-specific role. 

Congratulation - I applaud her hard work and ambition. She is a great actor and deserves this opportunity based on what I have seen of her other roles. Let’s all  celebrate as one of our community does well. As we contemplate our own escapes, let us all find opportunities - Not see obstacles.


  1. Thank you for recognizing that success requires some inspiration but a lot of perspiration.
    For some it seems like things do come easy. Do not be fooled. For most we had to work long and hard and make many sacrifices along the way.
    It is easy to find excuses and almost anything can be explained away. Work hard to achieve your aims.

  2. Although I have never had to overcome the challenges of dyslexia myself, I concentrated my studies for my degree in Education on that very subject. There are no two dyslexic people who are the same, just as there are no two transgender people who are the same. I married a woman, knowing she worked very hard every day to compensate and overcome the challenges from her dyslexia. She married me, though, without the knowledge of my gender dysphoria, as even I had buried it so deeply that it was an overcompensation and the challenge was to hide my secret. While she suffered much shame for her "condition," from an early age (even to be called "stupid" publicly in school), I worked so very hard not to be discovered at all, so as to not suffer the shame I thought I would receive and feel.

    Kudos to you, Rhonda, for overcoming your challenges in dealing with your dyslexia. It seems that you have found a way to deal with your gender dysphoria, as well. But, just as your dyslexia surely differs from my wife's, the differences in our individual gender dysphorias are manifested through our own dealings. For me, the suppression of so many years became incendiary, and it finally became a matter of transitioning so as not to explode (or maybe implode?). Unfortunately, much of the success I had achieved in earlier years burned away with the fuse that was leading to this conclusion. So much wasted energy....

    By the way, my wife and I will be celebrating our 46th anniversary next week. I think that part of the reason she has stuck with me through all of this gender stuff is the fact that she can identify with my struggles by looking at how she has struggled with her dyslexia. Of course, my gender identity and dysphoria are also hers to deal with and to overcome. I believe she is actually doing a better job of it than am I!

    1. Connie, What a beautiful comment. Thank you so much. 46 year of marriage - congratulation.