The Ghost of Identities Past

Jacob Marley is a ghost…

That does not mean that Jacob Marley was not once a man.

Recently I was told a picture of me could not be me because I am a 32 year old man, and the person in the picture was a woman in her mid twenties. I lovingly pointed out to them that I was transgendered, and that I used to be a female adult performer, but now I was a guy. In response someone else spoke up and said I had never really been a woman, I had always been a guy, just a guy who had stumbled in front of a camera.

The second one hurt more than the first.

I have this piece of art by Brian Andreas hanging in my bedroom

There are many trans people who want to wash away their past, or have it understood that their current identity has always been their truth. They are the gender they have always been, and let any photographs of them be cast aside as a painful reminder of life lived in-authentically. I powerfully understand and appreciate that, having had a partner whose past name being used in reference to him would lead him into an emotional tailspin that often crashed and burned. But that is not my journey… though it does get me thinking about my own.

I have no one who is my Slave at this time, and I still consider myself a Master. That one feels easy. Sir, Master, these feel etched in me. Even when I was a 24/7 Slave myself, people still Ma’am’s or Sir’d me.

Ah, but Ma’am. Am I still a Ma’am? I can respond to it, but no, its not really me right now.  Does that mean that I was a liar, or putting on a mask when my former Girl called me Ma’am? No, I was authentically Ma’am at the time, and proud of it. I was a Mistress, and in that time was fully and truly the Mistress of the men who served me. I was not some dude putting on the skinsuit of a femdom and riding it around for voyeuristic and sadistic thrills. I was authentically me, as I knew me to be at that time.

I have been a female adult film performer, a hot porn clown, a baby butch dyke. Just because my current identity and truths do not encompass those things does not mean I never was. For I feel like I am asked to traverse the land of never was.

But you, you were 7. Now that you are 47, does that mean that you were never 7? Was your 47 year old self peering out from behind watchful eyes, planning and predicting when your true self would bear fruit?

If I embrace my slavery, for I am a Slave, under a public eye- will I have never lived the years in-between my slavery to Masters and my experience with my Matron now? Is the rest a lie, a passing tale, a false truth?

I believe humans are complex beings. That our identities and expressions shift over time. That there are things that were that are not. That there are things that are not that will be. And that there are things that were and will be but are not right now.

Let my center have wheels, moving easily in the slightest of breezes.


Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.

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