A few days ago, while hanging out with some trans friends of mine at a local coffee shop, I got into some rather geeky sci-fi conversation. It’s really awesome to not only have a growing number of trans friends, but also (at least one) rather geeky friend: a trans woman who can actually speak some Klingon!
I don’t usually do impressions, but…
Star Wars and Darth Vader came up during the conversation. Jumping on an opportunity to get a chuckle, I did a quick impression of Darth Vader saying a line from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. In my best Darth Vader voice I said, “Obi-Wan never told you the truth about your faatherrrr.”
Everyone within an earshot stopped talking and looked at me with wide eyes as their jaws dropped. Whoa! Awkward silent moment!
Off the “deep” end
Folks who have only ever known me as “Gabrielle”, have ever only heard me talk in my feminine voice. Thanks to almost five years of feminine vocal exercises, my female voice, while far from perfect, is fairly convincing. It’s certainly a far cry from my naturally deep man-voice, with which it is easy to reach a Vader-pitch, and do impressions of Lt. Worf from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
My Darth Vader impression left me feeling slightly embarrassed. Not because it wasn’t very good, but because it was a little too good, and mighty far from anything feminine sounding. Sharing what my deep man-voice sounds like when in my (natural to me) female form is something I’m reluctant to do. The same goes for when I have to be in guy-mode: I don’t like to talk in my feminine voice. It causes an uncomfortable feeling I call “the ick”.
Receipting a quote from Star Wars in my Vader-voice didn’t quite have the comedic impact I hoped for, but it didn’t fall completely flat, either. We cracked more geek jokes, did our best Yoda impressions, and continued the conversation at the nearby pizza place before long.
I forgot I had one of these
After arriving home, I stumbled upon my Darth Vader helmet in the basement while looking for something else. What self-respecting sci-fi loving geek doesn’t have their own Darth Vader helmet with built-in voice changer? :)
Time for some creative trans photography
So came the idea for the geek humor photo above. Proud to be trans, I “altered the bargain, pray I don’t alter it furtherrrr…” Whoops – channeling Cloud City Vader a little there. lol What I meant to say is: Proud to be trans, I altered the original line from the movie with a gender-pun, swapping “father” with “gender”.
Swap out “Obi-Wan” for “Society” and this bit of geek humor takes on a less humorous and very real, literal meaning. Had society actually allowed gender truths to be openly discussed and taught in school, I might have grown up very different, and been living full time as my true self (a trans woman) a long time ago (not in a galaxy far, far away), without all the complications associated in trying to do so now in my 40’s. What’s done is done. The silver lining for me is that I survived, figured things out, and at least made it this far. May as well have some fun with things, right? Life is too short not to have some fun. Additionally, one shouldn’t take life too seriously, either. That was a mistake I made for far too long. If you’re reading this, I hope you’re not still making that mistake.
Trans-geeks are cool!
So… are you a sci-fi loving geek, too? Got a Vader helmet, and the courage to admit it? Maybe you speak a little Klingon or tell people to “Live long and prosper.” Sitting atop my computer stand is a little blue police box. What’s in your geek closet? Tell me all about it! If it’s geeky AND trans related, double-points!