My name is Lee.
Um, I thought your name was Bridgett?
For the past 11 years in the public scene, and in my art, I have used the name Bridgett Harrington, which are both parts of my legal name. So is Lee. I have made a decision to start using Lee in public instead because it is truer to where I am with my life now. I have been hesitating to do this for a variety of reasons, mostly because I have developed a reputation under the name Bridgett Harrington- but this is a truth I need to do. Waiting any longer (I’ve been using Lee full time with my family for a while, and with a group of friends as well) will not help me, and in fact will hinder.
Is this some sort of stuff with your gender thing?
Sort of. Bridgett Harrington has developed for me an odd sensation associated with it. It is my nome de plume, not something should be calling me when I am playing with them, or in general using the entirety of in social settings. I am NOT that pretentious. But in 2006 I had 3 different individuals, in very intimate moments, say something like “I can’t believe I am with THE Bridgett Harrington” (I’m not kidding). So, that is Part 1.
Part 2- After 10 years of the issue being shelved, my gender and identity issues are back strongly on the table. I shouldn’t call them issues, when in reality I am very happy to have the identities that I have. From 13-17 I actively considered reassignment surgery, and at that time planned on using the name Brian if I ever did so. I decided not to at that time, and shelved the issue, and tried to live as a happy female two-spirited individual. This shell has cracked, and I have come to realize that no, indeed, I identify 75% male 25% female (note I use male/female, not masculine/feminine). I also have distinct issues with how my body appears and how I use it, and what I want to transform it into. Thus, I needed for my own mental comfort a name that is more gender neutral for day to day use.
Part 3- Lee is short for 2 names- Leannan (Gaelic for “Sacred Love”), and Ashlee (one of my legal names)- a masculine (in my mind) name birthed from two feminine ones. Leannan is a name I started using in some of my writing work back in 1998. Ashlee has been with since I was 7 and demanded that it be added to a very amused mother, who to this day is still amused.
So, do we call you HE then?
I prefer masculine pronouns, but am happy to just have folks tackle the name thing for now. And yes, I get that addressing the person in the tight laced corset as he is hard for most folks. I also use gender neutral pronouns.
Are you planning on, you know, surgeries and stuff?
In the next 3 years, assuming budgets work as planned, I plan on having chest surgery. Yes, my body is beautiful, and yes, my tits are great tools- but I do not identify with them. I have serious identity issues with not recognizing my body in the mirror, and want to work on making my vision of me and my outward presentation of me fit better with one another. This has been a HUGE issue for me. I use my breasts as a tool for my work as a performance artist and model. I use them as a tool for seduction and manipulation, and have since I was 12 (I sold more camp fire candy when I wore low cut shirts I found). I find the piece of artwork that is my body as is to be an amazing one, one that I find beautiful, one that I enjoy aesthetically and even erotically in images or even in a mirror- but I do not recognize it as ME. I literally look in the mirror and have gone- wow, hot woman, then realized it was my reflection.
In the past I could cope with this level of non-association, but not any more. As for other surgeries and things- they are not necessary for me at this time. As for hormone therapy- that debate is actively on the table and I am seriously considering it.
Why can’t you just be happy binding and packing and then you can be a guy and a girl?
That is the short answer. The reality is that my body issues, when I allow myself to care, are so bad that I can’t allow myself to even see my body, let alone let other folks touch it, or anything like that. This is an issue. Also, I love being a girl- but only when I know its not how folks see me as my primary identity. It is often times dress up, fun time- when I am at a coffee shop, I would rather have Joe/anne Barista say “what would you like Sir,” not “What would you like M’am?” I’ve spent most of the past 10 years not caring, and I just can’t do it any more. I made a promise to a few very important individuals that I would stop running from my issues, and that has meant that I have to stop not looking, turning a blind eye on my behavior and preferences of being.
Are you going to keep shooting porn and escorting/Domming?
I will keep doing all of the above for as long as it feels right. I am still an amazingly powerful woman, even if I am also a strong man. These are not mutually exclusive concepts for me. The question is- what will the fans/clients want? I have friends who are amazing men with innies between their legs who have done a fair amount of Domming, escorting, or shot porn. But how that evolves is uncertain. I look forward, as I have been doing since the age of 11, to documenting my evolution as a sexual human being- whether that is shared with the world or not will be determined in the next few years. I have a really hot idea for a porn that has me fucking the same group of people a few weeks before then a year after chest surgery, but I have no idea who would produce it.
So this is just a sexual thing? How will you do normal work?
I would like to go back to grad school, but have decided not to do so until I get my personal identity and body concept stuff in order. Changing names, body ingredients, etc after graduate school just does not appeal. This is NOT just a sexual think, not some kinky thing about being a role in bed- this is about my concept of myself as a day to day human. Individuals who live a gendered life other than that which they were born/assigned at birth can do just about any job that anyone else can, cheers.
So, what now?
Good question- I’m trying to figure that out. I am going to slowly start transitioning my educator and photographic work over to the name Lee Harrington instead of Bridgett Harrington. However, my porn… I want to keep my porn under Bridgett Harrington as it is part of that concept. I’d prefer if folks see me socially to call me Lee, and hell, anyone can call me Lee, and I’m not going to freak if you call me Bridgett any time either, except in the bedroom and you’re not a client or its not part of a persona/scene thing. I’d prefer to not have you moan about how much you’ll miss my breasts- if you want them, please offer buying them off of me- please. I’m happy to give them to someone else.
Beyond that- wish me luck, be understanding, and pass the word on to anyone you think would be appropriate to know.