Transitory Life returns this week in Melbourne for its third party, bigger and sexier than ever. We chatted with Teague Leigh, who not only created the party series but Australia’s first non-profit organisation dedicated to financially supporting the trans community.
What was the original inspiration behind the Transitory Party?
There are three contributing factors that led to the creation of the Transitory parties; I was on a mailing list in 2008, researching the transgendered community due to my own transition and the prevailing sentiment was gloomy when it came to just how expensive it was to transition. I had to borrow money to pay for my chest surgery, which was something I had never wanted to do and am still paying back. I was determined to never let anyone feel as belittled as I did. Also at the time, during the course of two years a number of suicides occurred impacting drastically on trans people.
I figured the best way to raise the issues and raise money to fund trans individuals was to create one hell a great club/performance night, the first being in 2009.
Now the Transitory parties are known in over 20 countries by over 60,000 people virally – that is a lot of people who may or may not have known about trans issues.
At one time you openly shared the experience of your transition on Facebook. What motivated you to do that?
I guess it was primarily for my own records, but I also wanted to show a different sort of transman. By that I mean, I’ve never been very androgynous. Ever since puberty I was what you’d typically classify as feminine. I had an hourglass figure. I also wasn’t overly fit and didn’t work out, which was something the professionals push trans people towards – work out and keep in shape – boring! I guess I wanted to be seen.
It also really helped me to see and accept myself in my altering physical state due to the testosterone and chest surgery. Despite me finally being in the body I had always wanted, it took a long time to start accepting myself after years of denial and sidestepping mirrors!
In the end the more trans people step into the light, the more people will realise there is nothing “abnormal” or “freakish” about us.
What are the biggest issues facing the ftm trans community in your opinion? What would you like people to know that they don’t already?
The biggest issue still facing the trans community is transphobia/hatred. This phobia often leads to either physical or verbal abuse, which in turn leads to depression and often times suicide. Unfortunately the suicide rate within the trans community is 125 times greater than the 6.8% rate of the general population. To me, this is deplorable and totally unacceptable.
Another cause of depression is the exorbitant costs of transitioning of $25,000 compared to the average salary of a trans person of $20,000. Individuals can’t afford to step out of their homes and feel good about being seen as the gender they feel. Something a lot of people take for granted.
Transitory has really grown since the first event. What are you most excited about in the upcoming event?
Whilst we had some amazing talent at the first event, it was all about giving the trans community a voice, and showing them that they are not alone and there is support. With Transitory III we are branching out and targeting the general public, with more diversity in the names we have performing for us. Acts such as Moira Finucane have a large following of not only queer men and women, but also straight people too. Buff DJ Kam Shafaati is largely known within the leather and bear communities. The extremely talented house DJ’s Jax Juxtapose and Shannyn Lee Ducret have a large female following.
Teague Leigh pictured with trans singer Paige Phoenix
Photo: Evelyn Lobos Photography
Personally, I can’t wait to get my groove on to the phenomenal progressive trance of Kam and also of the gorgeous Dan Wilson and also seeing Sword Swallower Aerial Manx who has the most world records in his craft than anyone – I can’t wait to see how and what he swallows next! The excitement of getting a large, diverse crowd willing and wanting to spend money on the trans community is really rewarding.
Transitory III is on this Friday 13 April 2012, 10pm-4am at the RMH (629 Bourke st, Melbourne). See below for full details.
Check out our Sexy Famous Transmen gallery below.
April 12th, 2012