Roadshow and Tell 

Transsexuals perform at the Media Co-op.

"August 2nd, 2005, the day before my first shot of T," says a female voice.

"August 31st, the day before my third shot," says the voice again, slightly rougher this time, as though the speaker has a cold. With "November 10th, the day of my eighth shot of T," the voice has dropped to that of a pubescent boy. By "my 16th shot of T," the voice is now recognizably male.

The "T" is a shot of testosterone, and the voice belongs to Kelly Shortandqueer, a transgender performer and one of the founders of the Tranny Roadshow, a group of traveling transsexuals who perform across the United States.

I watched the group perform last week at the Media Co-op. The tour has visited cities as far away as Toronto, although they don't get much farther South than Memphis.

Shortandqueer, along with fellow transsexual Jamez Terry, organized the show on a whim.

"I just wanted to be able to perform," says Terry. He posted on a few Web forums and sent e-mails to a few friends. "Within a week, I had gotten hundreds of e-mails," says Terry.

The Roadshow's performances vary from monologues to songs.

"The show is not explicitly political. A lot of the acts don't even deal directly with gender, but a lot of the art is very identity-based," says Terry. "I think it's hard to break into the mainstream art community, so we had to make our own space."

Shortandqueer opens the show with a monologue about the high and low points of changing gender, while trying to deal with colleagues and customers at OfficeMax.

"I hate it when my co-workers try and over-correct," he says during his performance. "'Oh, Kelly, you would look great in that blue shirt, because you're a boy!'"

"Passing," slang for someone appearing as their chosen gender without others suspecting, is a topic of both interest and pride.

I was clueless about the Roadshow founders' sex, even after they tried to guide me with several prominent pronouns. Finally, Terry, who works as a dog trainer in Alaska, said in an offhanded way, "I'm not even out at my job. As far as they know, I was born male, and I'm happy to let them think that."

But wait, I thought Terry was born male. I guess that's part of the beauty of the Roadshow: I wasn't sure where everyone was going, and I certainly didn't know where they had been.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

    • Food Drought

      Mid-South Food Bank’s summer food supply runs low.


News Blog

Garner Recovery Fund Surpasses Goal in One Day

From My Seat

Lord Stanley Comes to Tennessee

News Blog

'Sun Records' Pitched to Amazon, CW

News Blog

Shelby Co. Sites Added to Historic Register

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Snowglobe

Politics Beat Blog

Luttrell Praises Press, Hints at Picking Successor

Music Blog

Tobin Sprout and Elf Power Down By The River

News Blog

Safer Streets Wanted in the City


More by Ben Popper

Readers also liked…

© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation